Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket


One Marshmallow Or Two?

As a rule of thumb I try to use creativity in every aspect of my life. One area that I have noticed that it helps the most is parenting.  I can’t say I deserve the title of ‘World’s best Mom’, but I try to be the best parent for Rae and I put all I have into it.  I truly believe if I try and approach it like I would other goals then I am off to a good start. When I have a goal I use creative problem solving when faced with an obstacle. I am trying to do the same with my parenting, so far it gets me way further then hollering and throwing tantrums.. which on occasion I do anyways, because at time I am a one marshmallow person (explained below).

It is important to me that I teach Rae to set goals, strive for dreams and work hard. These things are qualities I value extremely high.  This was something that has been a great help in teaching those lessons in our home.  Besides.. I need reminders too, and this helps me as well.

A year or so ago I read this study that was done in the 70’s at Stanford.  They took children one by one into a room and gave them a marshmallow.  These children were told that if they did not eat it that in fifteen minutes someone would come back in they give them another one and they could then eat two marshmallows.  Some children ate them right away not caring about the second marshmallow and others did all they could to resist and hold out so they could have two.

They followed the children through their lives and tracked the difference in how the children that wonted immediate gratification (one marshmallow) versus the delayed gratification children (2 marshmallows) differed.  The results were significant. Those that had been a two marshmallow child had higher test scores and were overall considered more successful.

When I told Rae this story it didn’t sink in at first, but now I use it as an easy reminder and metal picture of making the choices that really benefit us in the long run.  When faced with a choice we often say ‘What is the two marshmallow choice?’ and when she is really being a pain, all I have to do is say ‘That’s a one marshmallow choice’.  I have to chuckle because if I say that to her, it will affect her more than anything else I can say, yell or threaten.  She typically corrects her behavior on the spot!

I have used this to teach setting goals, eating healthy, behaving at school and even cleaning up the rooms.  I am not saying it produces a perfect child, but it gives her something to think about and visualize and faced with a choice between what she wants right now and what she really wants.

To give her a quick no talking pep-talk all I have to do is hand her two marshmallows and a wink. She knows that this means she is being a pretty awesome person and making some great choices.

I would love to hear any creative parenting you have used. Do you have secret codes, stories and words you use to correct your child’s behavior?


My Very Gleeful Holiday Giveaway!

It's time for a Very Gleeful Holiday Giveaway!

This year I have made a promise to myself to have as much of a handmade and small business holiday as possible. I thought it would be fun to offer you a chance at just that! I contacted some very talented friends and business women I respect and I put together something beyond my wildest dreams! This prize pack is valued over $500! One very lucky winner is going to walk away with a Very Gleeful Holiday!  I have to admit that I am a lot jealous of whoever wins! 

Here are the amazing business owners that contributed to the first ever Very Gleeful Holiday Giveaway. I love these businesses and I am so happy to introduce you to them if you don't already know them! 

Tweet Baby Designs

Hi Ya'll! My name is Ashlee and I am a mama to 6.5 kiddos and wife to one amazing man. I started Tweet Baby Designs in Sept of 2008 as a way to sell things I loved to make. It has since turned into a wonderful addition to our large family. I specialize in teething accessories for babies and toddlers and amber jewelry for adults with inflammatory issues.

Tweet Baby Designs is Giving Away: 2 Felt and Fabric Owl Ornaments.

The Peaceful Housewife
Jenny from The Peaceful Housewife blogs about family life and recipes for making your own personal care products. She also sells her handmade cleaning products and laundry detergent worldwide. You can find her products online at

The Peaceful Housewife is Giving Away: A One Year Supply of Detergent in A Scent of Your Choice.

Love My Suds

All Love My Suds Soaps, Scrubs and Body Goodies are handcrafted fresh with 100% quality ingredients by Dina Cagle. She enjoys crafting these bubbly goodies in her hilltop home in Sand Springs Oklahoma. Dina, is a soap artisan, green blogger, web designer, and life long Okie. When not creating she is the Mother of an eighteen year old son, wife to her best friend and an avid animal lover. 
Love My Suds is Giving Away: 

Sweet Dreams Goats Milk Bar-soothing bedtime bath blend of mandarin, lavender and chamomile, neroli, and lily of the valley. Bottom notes of hay and musk. 

Sweet Dreams Sugar Scrub Bar-soothing bedtime bath is a blend of mandarin, lavender and chamomile, neroli, and lily of the valley. Bottom notes of hay and musk.
All Love My Suds are handcrafted with Love, 100% quality ingredients and beautiful soapy scents to delight your bath time.

Oopsy Daisies

Oopsy Daisies is a great shop that hand creates these fun hats for infants. Perfect for a photoshoot and just for getting lots of compliments! 

Oopsy Daisies is Giving Away: A $20 Gift Credit to the Store.

Meagan Ready Photography

 Meagan Ready Photography offers beautiful child and baby photography. Unique and artful, her images will be something you cherish forever.

Meagan Ready Photography is Giving Away: A Newborn Session OR a $100 gift Card to Meagan Ready Photography. (Winner's Choice)


Rebecca Ramos
I want my designs to become your favorite piece of jewelry simply because they represent you.  A person can look at your charms and get a small snapshot of what you are all about.  My new line of charms, icon•o•graphic from ChickeeBoom, was created so that these charms would be constant companions in your everyday journey. They are intended to remind you of what is important and put a smile on your face whenever you touch them or hear them jingle.

I live in Dallas, TX with my husband, two sweet little boys and four dopey dogs! I love to learn new techniques and make new and exciting items for you! Visit my website or LIKE me on FB - we'll have a great jewelry time together!

ChickeeBoom is Giving Away: One Fine Silver Charm from the entire line (up to a $40 value).



Hollyrocks offers Gems and accessories to match your rockin' ways! She makes amazing polymer clay jewelry, home decor and fun items that put a smile on your face.

Hollyrocks is Giving Away: One Glitter Acorn Necklace in your choice of color.

Oikos Handmade

OIKOS : of certain affinity, tribe
I love my family. I adore my husband. I am smitten by my son. I enjoy crocheting. I am grateful for friends. These are my tribes. 

Oikos Handmade is Giving Away: One Set of Boot Socks in Cream.

Okie Scents

Jennifer from Okie Scents makes beautiful quality candles and cold process soaps in her shop in Sand Springs, OK. You can find her products online at
Okie Scents is Giving Away: 3 Scented Wax Melts.

Designs By Jamie

Designs By Jamie creates handmade purses and accessories using fun modern fabrics with vintage trims. I have been sewing for many years and started making handbags about seven years ago for friends, which led to my own business designing and sewing purses. Designs by Jamie also makes zipper/e-reader bags, checkbook covers, coupon bags, iPod covers and reusable snack bags.

Designs By Jamie is Giving Away: A Zipper Bag made out of black denim and embellished with a Dark Pink Hand Dyed Doily. The Zipper Bag is the perfect size for e-Readers.

 Rainbow Swirlz

Rainbow Swirlz is a screen printing business here in Oklahoma. Her designs are fun, sweet and always cool. She not only offers up totes, t's and sweatshirts in her fun designs, she also does custom screen printing for sports teams, work events and any other need you might have for customer screen printing!

Rainbow Swirlz is Giving Away: A $50 Gift Certificate to their Shop.

 Gleeful Peacock

Aristotle said ‘We are what we repeatedly do’. If you want to be an artist, do artistic and creative acts. With this in mind, I set out to start my own business and I created Gleeful Peacock. The name symbolizes my two main goals, to be colorful and happy. Although my shop may not have paintings for your wall, it all comes from my creative energy and to me it is wearable art. I love to create pieces with meaning, symbolism or a specific inspiration.

Gleeful Peacock is Giving Away: One $50 Gift Certificate to the Shop.

Bluebird Lane

Sisters Jen J. and Megan N. opened Bluebird Lane as a labor of love in August of 2011.  Boosting 3000 square feet of space, overnight accommodations for 15 , and well lit crafting rooms Bluebird Lane is a relaxing getaway perfect for all makers and crafters! The sisters have spent countless hours clipping and pasting, preserving life’s lovely memories in carefully pieced together scrapbooks. The peaceful camaraderie provided by a great group of creative friends and passionate ideas sparked the dream of Bluebird Lane. No matter what your crafting passion, or base medium, Bluebird Lane will be your new favorite spot! 

Bluebird Lane is Giving Away: A Two Night, Three Day Stay for One Person and it includes Meals for the Weekend. 

Can you believe you can win all of that?

Now that you have seen all the amazing prizes are you ready to win? Here's how to enter. You'll first of all need to follow my blog and then like each store's Facebook Page. (The Links are included with each item being given away.) Once you've done that come back and fill out THIS form. 

Good Luck! Giveaway is open until December 12, 2011 at 

*One Lucky Entry will win all prizes mentioned above. Must be 18 or older to enter. Only one entry per person. All Duplicate entries will be deleted. All entries will be verified before the winner is chosen. If you are not one of the winners, your information will be deleted and not sold or shared with anyone.


As Promised...Black Friday Coupon Code!

Gleeful Holidays To You All!
It is that time of year when we start putting on the holiday music, pulling out all the favorite holiday decorations and starting to make our lists and check them twice. The best part is finding that perfect gift for someone on our list!

This year I am pledging to make it a handmade holiday as much as possible. I am busy working on handmade ornaments, making a cooking list and shopping all the amazing handmade artists I know! I hope that you will join me in making this a handmade holiday. By supporting a handmade artist you make a huge difference in that person’s life. I am not too sure the CEO of a big box store does a happy dance each time something gets purchased from the store. But, I can tell you from experience that each time you order or buy handmade someone out there on the other end is doing a happy dance, smiling a huge grin or feeling validated for all the hard work and time they put into making their goods. This year try and be the cause for as many happy moments as you can! I am sure you will all agree that it not only makes a difference to the artist it also makes a difference to the person on the receiving end of the gift.

So that you have a little memento from the happy dance you cause me when you order, I will be sending out a free gift with every order that uses the coupon code upon ordering.

The coupon code is good November 25th to November 28th. Hurry quick you won't want to miss out! 



All About You Interview

Last week I had an amazing opportunity to be on KSBI's All About You program. They had found me when I was exhibiting at The Girly Show. Not only is that show amazing, it has been the gift the just keeps giving! So a little thank you the The Girly's for putting on a amazing show for artists, is in order. Thanks!

The staff at KSBI was welcoming and so easy going. I wasn't very nervous and it just felt like friends chatting.  I was on a news show before but that was to promote Indie Emporium and not myself. It is a whole new ball game when you chat about yourself!

I am sure I could find a million things I could have done better but I will focus that I never fell on my face, went 'deer in the headlights', or started uncontrollably crying. So I will let this one go in the 'win' category.  As my girlfriends tell me, I have a tendency to be to hard on myself and I am trying to work on it. So I wont watch the video (except the one time on my phone where I could not see it very well), but here it is for you to watch it if you choose.


2011 Limited Edition Ornament

2011 Gleeful Peacock Ornament

 Since I love traditions and I even more so like creating new ones, I thought this year I would start a Gleeful Peacock tradition! This will be the first ever yearly ornament. I remember every year my mom would start months in advance making ornaments. Every year it seemed she completely changed her tree. I won't go that far, but I do like to add to my tree each year.

They come in two styles

This year it I made layered snowflakes in turquoise, sea green and white. They are hung on sweet lace ribbon and are 3" across. I think I could decorate my whole tree with them, but I will just keep one for myself. The rest are up for grabs. First come first serve. There are only 20 of them.. well 19 once I take mine out.

If you want one for your gleeful tree e-mail me at and I will get it reserved for you! They are $20 each with $2 shipping.

Now I just need to get my tree up!

<3 Nikki


A do nothing kind of day..

Snuggling with our cozy socks on.

On Sunday Rae and I decided that it needed to be a lazy day. But not just any ordinary kind of lazy day. It had to be an 'Official Day of Do Nothing'. We decided that we better go to breakfast to start the day off on the right lazy note. But we of course had to go without brushing our hair or doing nay make-up. Sweats were indeed the uniform for the entire day. After breakfast we filled the day with movie watching, junk food eating and laying around and chatting. We laughed, told jokes and pretty much accomplished nothing.. which of course was accomplishing the what the day was all about.

Rules for the 'Do Nothing Day'.
(I know it seems like there should not be rules on a day like this but when Rae is involved she just can't enjoy it without rules being in place)
1- Sweats or Pj's all day.
2- No 'getting ready' for anything at all.
3- No cooking or cleaning
4- No work
5- No whining (I added that one in since dealing with whining is work for me)
6- Relaxing and fun conversation only. No talking about stressful or work related topics.
These eyes full of excitement tell me it is all worth it!
Here is to getting nothing done but doing it spectacularly! We all have a lazy day, might as well turn it into a special event. <3 Nikki


Sign-Up for the Gleeful Peacock Newsletter

Hi Friends!

I am starting a newsletter, you will for sure want to sign-up for fun new information and in this latest issue a coupon code.

Please fill out the form below to be added to the Gleeful Peacock Newsletter.
* Required


Halloween Surprise

All three of us
Right now Rae is reading Harry Potter and is obsessed with all things Potter. She is currently on the fourth book and would be further but grounding her from leisure reading is our biggest tool the the parenting tool box. I know it seems crazy but this girl can go without video games and TV for weeks without even noticing, but take reading away (except for school assignments) and she is on task to win back her privileges and get her 'act cleaned up' as she puts it. 

Mik helped me make my robe (extra husband points for him)

So this year Rae wanted to be Herminone of course. I was super on board with this since I think she is a amazing female character for little girls. I will support her being a strong female in anyway that I can.

She was giddy with excitement about her costume. But the real surprise was that Mik and I were dressing up with her. She had absolutely no idea that we were dressing up let alone as Harry Potter characters. We decided to surprise her by picking her up from school on Halloween, fully dressed as Harry Potter and Professor Magonagal. The other kids got a kick out of our costumes and were excited to see parents dressed up when they came out of school. But the best part was when Rae saw us. She came running towards us and gave us the biggest hugs she could.
Best part.. no make up needed!

Rae was so excited and just said over and over 'Thank you so much for this experience' and 'This means so much to me!'. But best of all was when she sat in the back seat of the car with full contentment on her face just shaking her head and grinning a grin that was nothing short of pure happiness.

Rae still having fun after all the trick-or-treating

She is nine right now and I know that in just a few years her parents showing up to school fully dressed will not be the best day of her life rather it would be horrifying. Until then I will keep dressing up, snugging and soaking up every minute I have as her momma.


Hold Hands and Jump

Some of you may already know this, but over the last few months I have had more than my fair share of tragedy. It has taken me a while to be ready to share this with you since I am still grieving and coming to terms with how these things change my life and where I go from here.

In June my mom of only 52 went to sleep and never woke up. She went into a coma and never came out of it. After days by her side it was apparent that she never would walk or talk again. While in the coma she had massive heart attacks and seizures that left her brain dead and with a non-functioning heart. Although she had lived with Lupus for years we never expected something like this at her young age. As a family we made the heart wrenching decision to end life support. My mom had always been my best friend and my biggest fan. Losing her was devastating and I miss her every day of my life.

The last time I talked to my mother was on Mother’s Day. I had told her how much she meant to me and thankfully I made a point to let her know that I knew she deserved all the credit in the world for any good qualities or successes I might have. She never felt like she could take credit for any of my triumphs. I sometimes didn’t want to give her credit for them either. But in that last phone call with her I had matured to a point where I knew it was her that made up the bulk of my good qualities. I will forever have peace that I made sure to tell her it.

After my mom passed, watching my step-dad (although I refer to him as dad) try and go through the daily motions was so difficult. He loved her more than I have ever seen a man love a woman. His eyes lit up when she entered a room and everyday he would say ‘Isn’t your mom the most beautiful woman in the world?’. They had been married 25 years and he told me all the time that his life stated when he became a part of our family. He was lost and lonely and never seemed like himself once she was gone. Soon we would find out that it was more than grief that made my dad seem so different.

About six weeks after my mom passed we learned that my dad who had been having some bad headaches had a mass behind his eye. Within a week we had found out the prognosis that I could not even believe. He had stage four brain cancer. Treatments were not going to extend his life much and they gave us a life expectancy of four months. As a family we again made a difficult decision. We decided to let him go home and live the rest of his time in as much comfort as we could provide.

It only took 35 days from the time he was diagnosed until he passed. In that time I went home and spent a week caring for him. I spent hours listening to The Beatles and holding his hand. Sometimes he knew it was me and sometimes he thought I was my mom. I could always tell the difference by how his eyes would light up when he thought I was my mom. It was beautiful and tragic all at once. As his illness advanced he would stay awake and fidget all night long. I never slept so little in a week before. One night that is forever in etched in my mind, he lay in the bed next to mine and every fifteen minutes he woke me up to say ‘Oh spider monkey, I love you so much. Do you know that?’ I would smile and say ‘I do. Thank you for loving me so much’. He would smile, squeeze my hand and tell me to go back to sleep. It would all start again in a few minutes.

The last night I was there I could not control my sadness. I was leaving the home they shared together and I knew that I would probably never seem him again. Knowing I was losing him brought all the feeling of losing my mom to the surface. I sat next to him and cried huge sobbing body shaking tears. He put his arm around me told me it was going to be okay and wiped my tears. Even while he was so close to death he was trying to comfort and take care of me.

Growing up my mom and dad would always joke that they never wanted to live without each other. They were just going to ‘hold hands and jump’. I would just roll my eyes and laugh at them. They passed three months and one day apart from each other. They came pretty close to getting their wish.

I know this is a tragic story, but as I wade through the sadness I am left with a bunch of happiness too. I am lucky enough to have four amazing parents that I love. All four have taught me amazing lessons and have been role models in my life. My two parents that I grew up living with are both gone, but I have the privilege of having parents amazing enough to miss for the rest of my life. They taught me something with every opportunity they had.

At my mom’s funeral I shared a thought that I think about all the time. I know my mom (and now I know this about my dad) loved me so much. I know this because I feel less loved and admired now that they are not here with me. This may sound depressing. I find it to be a beautiful expression of how much space and love they took up in my life. There will forever be a void. I will forever miss them. But I will keep moving, keep working and keep loving. This I owe to them.

I want to share a little more of what I learned from each of them and will a little later. For now, for my own healing purposes I share what has happened in my life over the last few months and where I go from here is all up to me. For you, I hope you go hug a loved one and can give them credit for what they have brought into your life. Believe me when I say that it can be the best thing you will ever do.



Halloween Garland DIY Take Two

Halloween Garland DIY using up-cycled old books

As Promised here is a second garland combining my love of doilies and Halloween! This one is a little more sophisticated and could be amazing for a wedding (minus the spiders of course).

• Old book pages cut into 2” circles
• Paper doilies 4” in diameter
• Jute or twine
• Double sided tape
• Spider or other spooky stamp

Cut out book pages using a 2” circle punch or template. Tape book circles in the middle of the doilies. Stamp or doodle any spooky images (I used a spider stamp of Rae’s and then colored it in with a marker). Sting and enjoy!

You can use the larger doilies if you prefer. If you used fairy tale images or other not so dark photos this would be amazing as a wedding garland or to hand in a child’s room.

<3 Nikki


Halloween Garland DIY

Halloween Garland DIY

I love all things Halloween and fall. This year I combined it with my obsession with doilies. This is the first of two garlands DIY’s coming to you from the Gleeful Peacock studio. They are both super inexpensive and easy to make. They are the perfect project to make with your little ones.

1 - For this colorful little garland you will need:

• Paper in a variety of Halloween colors cut into 2” circles

• Paper doilies 4” in diameter

• Fabric

• Brads

2- Tear fabric into strips about 1” wide. Cut those strips into 9” long pieces. I tore the fabric to give it a frayed edge.

3- Tie the pieces together to create a long chain of fabric.
4- Fold the doilies in half over the fabric between the knots. Place the paper circle in half over that. Use a small hole punch or cut a small slit through both the doily and the paper circle. Attach brad.

You can use the larger doilies if you prefer. Just think how cute this could be for other holidays or birthday party!


Sending Out Glee

One of my favorite moments each week with my business is when I can sit and admire a completed set of packages ready to ship out. One reason, is that I feel a sense of accomplishment. But another reason is that I get excited that each package represents to me that someone out there gets what I am doing. That the hours in the studio produce something that someone else wants to bring into their life.

I picture the person they are going to. I wonder if it is a gift or for themselves. I also doodle something on every box and package the leaves the studio. I wonder if they notice, if they think I am crazy or if it makes them smile. I wonder if the post carriers notice and if they wonder what the heck the Gleeful Peacock is. But mostly I send good thoughts with it and a wish that they will be happy when it arrives.

No one ever really says anything about my doodles. But I will keep doing it since it is my way of saying thank you and telling them my heart went into their order.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


A Momma's Inspiration

I am drawn to pattern. I should be since I spent at least half of my childhood in a sewing room or a fabric store. Of course I never complained. Okay maybe a little.. or a lot. But now that I am older I love fab may even hoard it a wee bit. For a while now I have wanted to figure out how to blend it with my current line. It has always been a fleeting thought and I never took the time to sit down and play with it. But with my mom passing away a few months ago I have this overwhelming urge to surround myself with everything and anything that reminds me of her. She was a master seamstress and the person I owe all my craftiness to.  Each time I pull out my scissors and hear the cutting of fabric I think of her. Seeing a pile of fabric scraps and strings on my studio floor gives me a happy heart.
Combining fabric and my other obsession right now, 1950’s fashion and craft I came up with some new pieces that I hope you love as much as I do. I love the idea of combining my painted pieces with the fabric. To me it symbolizes this history of craft in my family.
Thank you mom, for filling my childhood with the sound of sewing machines, smells of starch and for all the hours of hunting for a lost needle. I promise to never complain about it again and to give my daughter as many as of the same memories as possible. 


A Gleeful Studio

One of my summer projects has been to redecorate my studio space. And although it is far from being where I want it to be, I have at least half done. Yup, you guessed it only the half I took the picture of.   When I made this room into my studio it was very utility room looking. I furnished it with fold up brown tables and plastic bins.  Looking back I have no idea what I was thinking. Well I assume I wasn’t thinking. Or at least not creatively. I actually spent money on my brown tables and plastic bins! Where did my creativity and the resourcefulness go when I was planning the space? It became a place I hated to be. It felt like it was a blaring objection of who I am as a person and an artist. My studio is being redone with used and repurposed items and is now a place that inspires me. It is bringing together my tow loves of vintage and color. I actually look forward to going in here now. That is important since I now spend most of my day in here. It also serves as a representation of how far my journey has taken me. I feel that I have reawakened my senses and I will no longer allow blah items in my life. Now.. to work on the other half so I can actually take a full picture of my space and share it.  But until then I pledge to banish the blah! 

Love the artwork in my studio? 
'M.A.K.E ' letter blocks by  Little Things Studio
'Oh Darling, lets be industrious'  by Fifi du Vie