31 December 2009

dear 2009...

today's t.ruffle is for you.

no hard feelings. xoxo. karey m.

30 December 2009


mary and i are over on the bright side project today...

if you visit and leave a comment, you could wins loads of cool stuff. loads!

where are my words today, you might be thinking. i might be thinking the same thing.

i think they started to disappear yesterday. it was so cold outside that the girlies three and i stayed inside for much of the day. hung pictures and sang a bit. and then we might've marathoned a few episodes of the little couple.

they now have a new game of pretend. which is why lillie and grae have been thumping through the house and doing their chores...walking. on. their. knees.

i hear lillie! want to play the little couple? and i cringe. if my grae-girl falls down the stairs one more time, i will scream. if lillie falls from her bunk ladder one more time, i will scream. i hear thunkthunkthunk and i know someone's lying in a clump. i scream. race to them to assess the damage.

and there they are. in a clump, but smiling. lill sees my terror and offers weakly i think this is teaching us empathy?

what's worse? last night, we accidentally stumbled across one big happy family on tlc. i dread the game that this will inspire.

29 December 2009


i think i've got to tell lill. which makes me all sorts of sad.

not the weepy why me wailing sort of sad. more the why does the magic have to end sort of sad.

she found an envelope of uncle sugar's. inside was a rather...pointed...letter from me written a few years ago. or maybe it was from some other raving lunatic who wrote in lower-case and used an impressive amount of dot dot dots. what can i tell you? the man likes my writing...even when i'm...pointed.

also in that envelope were about twelve tiny teeth.

she came to me and stood smack in front of me. i found baby teeth. her little lip quivered and tears puddled and she started giggling at her own crushed heart.

where? i was clearly buying time.

dad's side table.

oh. well. those are his. {what?!}

those are his teeth? tears drying. hope blooming.

no. but they're his and i can't tell you why he has them. that's his story to tell you. {what?!}

does it have something to do with his job? her eyes widened as more hope bloomed.

yes, lillie. i whispered in a low official-sounding monotone. your dad punches little kids and knocks their teeth out. sometimes he comes straight home after roughing up a toddler and doesn't get a chance to drop off the teeth at his office. well done. you've cracked the case, encyclopedia brown.

she laughed and i laughed and she stopped asking questions. maybe because she wanted to enjoy one last christmas as a little kid.

not the kind uncle sugar apparently deals with in his job, but just a regular little kid. who still believes in magic.

i'll probably take her to lunch this week. just us. wish me luck.

on a side note? why on earth would she connect twelve baby teeth in an envelope that her dad keeps next to his bed with. his. job. {sigh.} this is going to be one long lunch.

oona patterson? genius. for sure. see more of her art on her blog.

28 December 2009

i missed you...

i don't own pretty enough words to tell you about our holiday. esmé said it best when she walked downstairs on christmas morning.

is this a true story? she gasped.

i think it is. happily ever after, all.

if you'd like, you can read about my favorite holiday tradition over on s.hoptalk. and even though i didn't get a peacock cloche this year, my gifts - given and gotten - were quite perfect. photo via spiderlashes.

21 December 2009

catch you later, friends...

my mom is here with me. and all of a sudden i feel ten years old again.

forget that i've girlies of my own. for the next eight days, i'm happily her girlie.

we'll go for walks and i'll spill all the words i've been saving since we were last together. she'll listen to them all. twice. we'll laugh the most at my most awkward moments. and all the tears in my eyes? she'll dry them. all the cracks in my heart? she'll mend them. she always travels with band-aids. the good kind that don't hurt when you pull them off. not those crummy spongebob ones that esmé makes me buy.

i'm lucky. i know that. but, man...this has been a year. and i always get a little weepy-sentimental around the holidays, you know? tell me you know.

i'm not sure how i feel about oh nine yet. i don't know if i'll miss him. i'm thinking i won't, but you never know. also, i am desperately hoping ten will live up to her name. i'm looking forward to meeting her.

anyway. i'm taking time off from mackin ink. just until my mom leaves and i'm all growns up again.

i'll be back before the year changes, ok? but there'll be no break from the sweeterie. mary ruffle declined my holiday request. so we'll continue to post daily over there. which is exactly fine with me...that place adds stars to my sky. it just does.

so. catch you later. save up your stories for me, will you? say yes...

i heart weheartit. also...will you keep your fingers crossed that i don't break my ankle again? we have some mini getaways planned that both frighten and thrill me. xoxo. and happy days ahead to you all.

18 December 2009

and the t.winner is...

uncle sugar suggested that mary and i give a t.ruffle to each of you. because there's no way we could determine a winner, especially after reading your sweetheart words.

umm. elizabeth? if you don't win and if susan said so doesn't win {because i'm thinking she'd give hers to you, yes? yes.}, mary and i will probably be needing your address.

ok. let's get to it. introducing my lovely assistant, esmé...


ok, you. send me your address and tell me which two you'd like...remember: one to keep and one to give, ok?

thanks for playing, everyone! mary and i quite liked this. as did my littlest wildebeest, mookie blaylock. ugh. and, as always, thank you from the bottom of our bottomless hearts for enjoying t.ruffles and the sweeterie. we so appreciate you. xoxo.

17 December 2009

hurry! it's a t.ruffle sweetstakes...

i'm swamped today. you probably are, too. so let's make this short and very. very. very. sweet.

mary and i want to give you a t.ruffle. we're closing the shoppe this weekend for a bit while we bake some new treats, so consider this a petite thank you and we like you very much and you're the best friends we've never met and can you make me a coffee, please? i am feeling lazy this morning.

and in the spirit of friendships, both real and imaginary, we're giving away two t.ruffles. one to keep and one to give.

it's quite difficult to win. first? you must sprint to etsy and choose your favorite t.ruffle. {this one is mary's. this one is mine. in case you needed help.} then? spin around seven times or until you're sufficiently dizzy. hop back here on one foot as fast as you can and leave a comment.

i'm teasing. you don't have to hurry. this isn't a t.ruffle t.race. it's a t.raffle.

seriously. just tell us your fave or anything at all. we'll choose the winner at noon tomorrow. and then i'll race to the post to get it to you pronto.

i really can't wait to hear from you. xoxo. and p.s. the winner will be chosen randomly but scientifically and perhaps even mathematically. i don't know what this means, but it sounds official, yes? plus kindness counts. so spread the word. and have a sweet day.

16 December 2009

more later...

i've a pretty packed morning and afternoon, but i'm hoping to be back a bit later with more words.

plus also? i've been awake all night worrying about everything and my lillie. i don't think her teachers are treating her kindly.

i just kissed her out the door and instructed her to be respectful and be the sweet lillie i love...but don't you dare let a low-rent cow make you feel any less than the greatest person ever invented.

she giggled and gave me her chandelier smile that absolutely guts me. i will probably who am i kidding definitely need to fight for her today or tomorrow, but i need to run fast for a few miles before i even think of what i'm to do.

a little later, friends, ok? ok, then. xoxo.

15 December 2009

i think...

this is a brilliant sight.

i have no good words today, plus a few paying projects and maybe one more than that if uncle sugar pays me for unpacking. i'm pretty sure i can arrange this.

and yes. i am still unpacking.

but. lovely plans tonight and tomorrow and all weekend, really. which coincide nicely with my lovely new haircut.

oh. one thing that makes me feel dumb and rotten. we've gotten excellent feedback on our t.ruffles and the packaging. i like that you think they're flat out happiness on an eight by ten, too. i like that very much.

but do you know what i forgot? somewhere in between those little surprise cards and the fat circle stickers and the glassine and xoxo...i forgot to include thank you notes. ugh.

now i have to send apology notes.

remember...t.ruffles is only open until friday, ok? we have one of these left for your love. a few of these for your kitchen. and a couple of these to hang over your babes' beds. and i promise i'll send you a thank you...xoxo, friends.

14 December 2009


hello. my name is karey and i do not wish to speak of boxes anymore.


but guess what? i got a pretty genius haircut last night. total kate lanphear that i can - get this! - flip to either side. plus color that looks like i picked it up at the beach.

i am thrilled.

did you know abe lincoln also switched up his parts on a whim? i believe this is a true story, mostly because uncle sugar told it to me a long long time ago and he does not lie when it comes to anything abe lincoln.

but it could also be a trick. because he's been seeking revenge ever since i told him that patrick ewing's teeth were dentures. he thought that faux-fact was so interesting that he told everyone he knew about poor patrick ewing's teeth. i sat next to him for years listening to this total fabrication of mine, wearing a bland smile and sometimes plugging my nose so i wouldn't laugh and blow the whole joke.

somewhere along the way, i forgot to tell him it was a whole joke. until he'd saturated his friends and acquaintance market with what would later become known as the are you kidding me, karey? they're not dentures? fib. in, like, all caps incredulity. plus he never calls me karey unless it's serious.

anyway. i really liked my stylist. she was covered in tattoos and quite open-minded, and we had ourselves a lovely little chat.

there was also an adorable stylist-in-training with hair so black it looked cobalt blue. just an effortlessly beautiful boy, you know? he had the coolest boy name i've ever heard, and my stylist said but wait until you hear his siblings' names!

just. as. cool.

and i smiled and said your mom killed it with names.

he frowned. his face turned all stormcloud dark. and he said that's the only good thing she's ever done for us.

crushing, right? because if you've ever named anything...i don't care if it's a turtle or a puppy or a brand-new babe...you sort of pour all of your hopes and dreams into it, don't you think?

i still remember uncle sugar walking up to me at random points during my first pregnancy, holding out his hand, pretending to introduce our someday girlie.

hi. i'm lillie kate mackin. your attorney.

i wonder how that happens. how somewhere along the way, the hopes and dreams are overtaken by fights and misunderstandings and pointless searches for apologies. i wonder what that day is like. when you can't patch the break. when you turn away instead of clutching. when you can't for the life of you find any more love.

i don't want to ever know.

both images from a new tumblr i already like. it's called made by hands attached to people. great name. and i know i like it because i'm peeved there are only, like, five entries. hurry up, lady! more more more.

11 December 2009


yesterday, gabrielle of design mom featured a t.ruffle print on her sight. it looked very pretty over there.

especially when paired with her post title...gift guide: darling things.

in my ever-eloquent fashion, i shot her a mail packed with some of my best. words. ever.

i think it went something like YOU'RE darling! and i believe there was a WHEEEEEEEE! in there somewhere.


so so so many of you have shown much love for t.ruffles. that thrills me to no end. because i've been telling anyone who will listen that all i really want to be is an artist. and as soon as i figured out that probably definitely would never happen? i begged a real artist to let me write all over her art.

for the record? mary ruffle always says yes to me.

in case anyone was wondering, i have other wishes. i would like to dunk a basketball. like, with mad panache. i'd love to play the violin. i'm trying to learn all the words to o holy night. that song guts me every time. no matter who's singing it.

i've got more. i wish someone would unpack for me. i would also enjoy a beach holiday. and i wish i could tell each and every one of you who's been so sweet to me and mary and our shoppe...thank you. it would maybe sound like this...

found and giggled over this at least four times since maggiedammit showed it to me and all of her other fans. and today's photo over at the sweeterie just about made me cry this morning. i think i've some words to do it justice. xoxo.

10 December 2009

moving me...

two things. because now i am stressed to my guts.

i've got the first floor almost nearly crackhouse finished. but that's only because i've shuffled boxes of unnecessary shininess around to one of the other two floors. my closet is a mess. all of them. but mine is a sea of black. and i am drowning in it. when did i acquire all of this nonsense?

what's worse is that last night i broke. it was a day of putting things in their places and then an evening of three shorties taking those things from their places. and then leaving those things on the floor. which didn't really matter until it did.

i wisely decided to take a break and decorate one of our three trees. {i. know.} so the girlies three joined me and we talked and adorned and laughed. twinkly lights have an effect on us all.

while lill and grae babbled, i noticed something. lill was retelling her day's dramas. that girl tells a good story. plus? she's taking a family slash lifestyle class, so they're peppered with saucier terms. this may be why esmé has named her freshly-unpacked santa plushie ballopian tube. which is better than her baby doll named flagina. if i had to choose.

lill regaled us with awkward moments, mostly with butts as her main theme. she told us the naughty words other kids and even her teacher were allowed to say. that two fifth grade girls got into a fight at lunch. and how a boy was suspended for making a bang-bang gesture with his hands.

this school is a joke, she said. and then flopped down on the couch.

and this is where grae comes in. no, lillie. you're wrong. i didn't learn anything at our old school. my teacher had no plan. he just told us stories. i'm finally working hard and learning something. i love it here.

the difference? grae adores her teacher. lillie's teacher does not adore her. and that? that makes a big difference.

i noticed something else. lillie feels. like me, she will float through life on emotion, never really caring about facts too terribly much. but grae? she's nothing but the facts, ma'am. it just struck me as funny.

lill will be the friend you call when your marriage is on the rocks because she will hate him for you when you need him to be hated, tell you how great he is when you need to remember how great he is, make you feel stronger when you're anything but, cry with you when you're all out of tears, and then forget it all when all is well again. grae will be the friend you call when you find a lump because you know she will research the best oncologists in the city, hound the veryveryvery best one until she gets you an appointment exactly two hours after you called her, and be next to you all the way through until all is well again. i know this about them like i know my name.

so back to the moment. we were calm and happy and things were good. twinkly lights. and i asked grae to toss me a pink pig ornament. {easy e loves pigs on skis. who knew.} she threw it without thinking. when it hit my chin, i started crying without thinking. and in their rush to get to me and hug me and kiss my boo-boo, they stepped on my favorite ornament i've ever owned. cracked it to bits.

it had belonged to my sister. who loved christmas so much she started decorating smack after halloween and never took down her twinkly lights. ever. i honestly can't think of christmas without thinking of her.

everyone but esmé gasped. and while lill curled herself around me and stroked my face and giggled about how cute i looked when i cried plus wow! tears really make your blue eyes bluer, grae set about trying to glue those smashed pieces back together.

and i saw two things. clearly. one? things do not matter. moments certainly do.

and those two girls together? the only friends you'd ever need.

fancy photos of a feather princess amid hidden treasures is exactly how i'm feeling today. lovingly swiped from dustjacket attic. have i told you i'm really missing visiting you? i am. i'll be back soon. and now? i've a date with some boxes. have a sweet day, friends. xoxo.

09 December 2009

so far, so good...

nothing broken. not even my poor little back. and the girlies three are still smiling.

a petite announcement...i woke and saw that t.ruffles is sold out of a pinch of magic and i'll wait for you right here. and there's only one we fit, too.

if you'd like one of these prints and it's not an urgent if you don't have it by 24 december you will never speak to me again and even though i probably wouldn't recognize your voice if we ever actually spoke, i would still miss your words terribly and i would not want to disappoint you. ever. sort of thing, just ask me. ok?

because i always say yes. and mary ruffle is even nicer than i am.

be back soon, friends. i do miss this. and you. xoxo. karey m.

p.s. esmé's slept in her own bed for two. gorgeous. nights. in a row! i hesitate to jinx it all by crowing, but then i think i don't believe in jinxing. even though i do count crows.

p.p.s. i honestly thought this one would be our most popular print. nope. haven't even sold one. i hung mine near the light switch where i put on my make-up in the morning. when i catch sight of it, the first thing i think is ooh! those colors are sick! and the second thing i think? add. more. shimmer. {i fear this is not a selling point. hmm.}

genius good mistakes from karin eriksson. yes...that karin eriksson.

08 December 2009

someone does not want to unpack...

i have this ritual when i wake up.

rouse two of my three, head downstairs, and turn on a few twinkly lamps plus the tree. it sort of eases us from drowsy to day. tricks us all that it's dusk instead of a dark morning. we seem to be dusk people.

this morning, though, i did not head downstairs easily. we have boxes on top of boxes. i haven't cracked them all open, but they appear to be full of who's the idiot who would pack that up and send it?

and now? right now? that idiot is procrastinating. hanging out with you instead.

oh! i actually do have something to tell you...the t.ruffles shoppe will only be open until the 18th. and then we'll close up and think of something brand new for the next go-around.

if you haven't bought a t.ruffle yet, you might want to rethink this. mary's photos are stunning and cheerful. they just are. even when she tries to be all arty and moody, they still come out happy.

and this one might very well be my favorite...because life - and love - is often about believing in someone else even more than you believe in yourself. putting all your eggs in one basket is never recommended. aesop would not buy this print, fer sure. but i think it's quite daring to take that chance, don't you? especially when you believe that basket is strong enough to hold your heart...without one teeny chance of breaking it.

wow. i am totally procrastinating. i must tell uncle sugar i wrote this last week and scheduled it. he will think i am smart.

wait! i do have one more thing to tell you. we had a lot of mails about our guardian angel post on the sweeterie. that's the lovely thing about not having comments on that sight...if you love it...if you really love it...you find a way to tell us.

a few of you asked if we'd think of making it a print. and since i had nothing better to do, i did. get yours here.

and now. i've got to think of what to do today. nothing's really coming to me. any ideas? ugh. and xoxo.

07 December 2009

moving day...

they're coming this morning.

movers bearing seven thousand pounds of unnecessary gifts that remind me of a time for which i ache but also want to forget. i'll furiously tear open the smaller ones with a scowl, while huffy-directing the bigger prezzies over there...to the left...your other left.

but then. when all the wrappings are cleared. i'll pour myself a drink. in a not-plastic glass. i will arrange my white not-plastic plates and white not-plastic bowls and fat silver not-plastic candlesticks and hide everything else not-glass plastic from our sight. because four months of plastic is three months, three weeks, and six days too much.

wait. i just felt chills up my arms. glass. linens. chubby towels. turquoise vases. a giant's bed with sheers to close ourselves in at night. and by ourselves, i mean me and uncle sugar and you-know-who.

ours bed is coming! she exclaims whenever she remembers. i've tried to explain that hers is, too, but she has a hard time differentiating between hers and ours. i do not anticipate she will outgrow this by tomorrow night.


and do you know what else is coming? she teases me. your toys? no. our books? oh, man. about four thousand pounds of our books. more chills down my legs. but no. not our books.

bear's coming tomorrow! and with that, she dances away.

crap. bear is our chihuahua. she stayed in jordan.

so i'm sitting here thinking two things. one? bear better not show up in one of those boxes. and two? i need to get these girlies a new puppy.

words will be light this week, ok? i want to be sure the girlies three enjoy all things moving, as i am itching for a big move again soon. so i need to make sure there's a total absence of stress and only pure joy at unpacking our things again. no matter how unnecessary, they are still shiny. and ours. boxes from weheartit.

04 December 2009

i thought this a misprint...

twelve hundred dollars. which threw my rolly chair from my drafting table all the way back to the bookshelf. which is something...really something...since i am very gentle 'round this desk of mine. my dad transformed it from old and throwaway-able to pure caramelized wood magic.

but then i saw the inside.

and then i understood. i got it. completely. this is not just a book. it is art.

but then i saw this.

oh, man. this takes wish to a whole new level.

the anthropologie sight, it goes without saying, is an utter marvel. as is ruth ashton, for sure.

03 December 2009

in love with love...


i have something important to tell you. are you listening?

it's true. it just is. you're all very nice to me, and if you think i don't appreciate every bit of your kindness? you're crazy.

ugh. i wanted to get through this post without calling you names. unless it was something like buttercup or sweetpea or sugar-britches or dear dear friend.

one more thing. i've a wish list over on design crush. if you'd like, you may read it here. and if you get lost, no worries. you'll find something way more brilliant anywhere else on kelly's site. it's, like, a law or something.

one more thing.

coulson macleod is on my wish list. if someone loved me...really loved me...that someone would buy me a coulson macleod. as seen recently on stash studios. design crush post here. also. don't be alarmed by all this love business. imaginary friends can love each other. and someday? we just might be able to get married! or something equally...uhhh...equal. xoxo.

i. love. i.anton.

directly to my inspiration board. like, directly.

i think i'm going to get in some sort of trouble for posting this. it clearly states on i.anton's flickr that i'm to email him before using any of his images for my blog. but i could not for the life of me find the mail address! plus i think it would be a mistake for i.anton to provide me with a mail address. it could get awkward.

02 December 2009

me and my girl...

esmé and i just spent the most delightful ten or more like twenty minutes scrolling through some pretty stunning spaces. i think it's funny to see what moves her...

and audrey.

she honestly put her face smack against the monitor, gasped, and asked is that a fairy? in, like, the deepest what chu talkin' 'bout, willis voice i've ever heard from her mouth.

she thinks there's a lot of love in this house...

and i think she's a little in love with this boy.

she is also...and i quote...having this tub for christmas. she assures me she will share it with me and only me.

apparently, i don't screech like lill and grae do when she peeps in the tub. and on esmé's list of stellar tub-mate traits, this is king.

the first two photos were snatched from the english muse. wow and wow and wow. a very cool space. the rest are from like a butterfly in your house, a perfectly named space, for sure. it is full of magic. have a sweet day, you. my girl and i may pop by later. so if my comments read like c-a-t and p-u-p, blame her. catch you later, friends. and xoxo.

01 December 2009

i can't even think of a title for this post...

oh, man. what've we done?

because it looks an awful lot like mary ruffle and i just opened up our t.ruffles shoppe on etsy.

i have to tell you...i'm scared. i just filled an entire paragraph with worries and zero-confidence ickiness, but then deleted. instead, i will tell you something interesting. less worrisome and way more positive, in fact.

like how esmé remains unmoved by any midnight threat i throw at her. except. except. {and please know that i am bright pink while i type in these next words.} except there's a chubby can outside who will run in and give us candy if he knows we're still awake!


actually. it would be closer to the truth if you replaced chubby with bloody. can with man. let's see...waiting outside who will run in...yep. accurate. oh. please delete the give us candy section and insert kill us dead. blah blah blah awake. ok. we should be on the same page now.

{louder crickets.}

when i'm nervous and in full-on panic mode, i tend to spill secrets. i am low on secrets this morning. but my second most popular panic maneuver is to tap dance. shuffle ball-change hop brush step.

ugh. this post was a total waste of your time. i'm sorry. plus mortified. and i just know that mary ruffle's going to run in and give me candy when she reads this. will you go look at our shoppe anyway? say yes...

this is not a photo you can purchase in our t.ruffle shoppe. and i am sorry about that, too. you know how i feel about marshmallows. but i'm pretty sure you'll forgive me when you see the rest of monica eisenman's food styling talents. and hopefully you'll forget all about that chubby can business above when you see mary ruffle's photos. they are flat-out happiness on an eight by ten.