Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cooking 101

Those who know me, make that those who live at my house, will tell you I can't cook. I can, but seldom do. And when I do, I choose simple, easy to prepare foods. This will never be a cooking blog. but occasionally I will share a recipe that I find easy, quick, and painless.

This apple casserole is one of those. A friend of mine was putting this together on Sunday morning for the doughnuts and devotion class. I eavesdropped on the prep and now I want to share this. We skipped the almonds. Now there are no hard and fast rules about the amount of things you use. More like my mom's little bit of this kind of cooking

You will need.

crescent rolls, apples, bottled caramel sauce, butter, sugar, cinnamon, sprite

Peel and chop the apples. Put on a crescent roll and drizzle with caramel sauce. Roll and seal. Melt spoonful of butter in square baking pan. Roll the sealed apple "dumplings " in the butter and spread in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Splash a 1/4 cup sprite across the mixture. We shook up the sprite and eyeballed this step. Bake according to crescent roll instructions. I just watch until they look done. Take out of the oven and drizzle with more caramel. Serve warm if at all possible. YUM - The picture shows almonds but I skip those.

Perfect for breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning. Add some Southern Pecan coffee and you have a lovely start to the weekend.

Update on Baby Charlie's quilt. Thanks to those who added their thoughts. I agonized over this for 2 hours last night. I dug through the fabric stash. (Remember I am trying to use what I have this month again.) I spread fabrics across the quilt. I begged teenagers for input on what worked. And we came upon a solution, a tiny print in a brown background that was just strong enough. Computer printout of the word LOVE. WonderUnder then zigzagged into place. The arrangement of the letters adds a little movement in the quilt and I started quilting the tree trunk LATE last night. I am really much more pleased now that I have that solved. Sorry - no picture - but I will add one as quick as I get a decent one of it. We have a ball tournament this weekend so I will have time to quilt while watching that.

Tonight is "Trunk or Treat" at our church so there will not be much crafting goodness in my life today.

I hope you get more treats than tricks today.

Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 30, 2006


This is the beginning of Baby Charlie's (Charlize Kate) quilt. A little more contemporary setup. Like a child's drawing. For some reason the layout seems incomplete, but I am not quite sure what it is that is missing. I put this all together yesterday and spread it out on the dinig room table where I walk past it several times a day. I keep fiddling with the placement so I know I want it to have something else added. I am going to embroider "Charlie" and a heart on the tree trunk as if someone had carved it. I plan to quilt it in circles on the tree and the sun. Vertically on the trunk and in a wavy horizontal pattern on the grass and sky.

Help - do you think it's complete looking? Or does it need something added? If something needs to be added then what? Should I quilt it in coordinating threads to their background? Help?????

Thanks in advance for your input.

Have a beautiful day.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Look at this !!!!

I just got these in the mail yesterday. They are from my partner for the textile ATC swap on Swap-bot. Made of felt and flannel and these adorable cartoon type characters. Made by Jane Rennalls. And they came with a note - apology - she was not happy with how these turned out.

I know how she feels. But Ms. Jane, I want you to know they are just wonderful. The flower one has a little pouch that I will tuck things into and my favorite - the kitty looks so smug and self satisfied.

I have completed works and not been happy. I have thrown things away. I have cussed and cried at times over items. Why. Either I did something stupid (story to follow) - was too tired to really focus on what I was doing (story there too) - or was trying a technique that I just didn't grasp (lots of those stories) - or for many other reasons. My biggest reason for being unhappy - comparing myself to some "ideal" standard that usually turned out as a figment of my imagination. I look at several blogs, I have several creative friends, I attend a ton of displays and shows, and I have created a quality code in my mind based on those ideas. Then when I really get to know the people behind the art, I find that they struggle too. That the points don't always exactly match on the quilt. That the genius item on the collage is actually there to cover a really big screw up. That the outcome was not at all what they visioned in the first place. So I have tried to learn to silence the critic inside and just wait and see what the response is before I give up. I do collect input from the trusted few and I try hard not to compare my work against others. (We all know when a piece is ready for the trash though - and I have still thrown several things away.)

Jane - your ATC are beautiful. The work is impeccable. The kitty makes me smile. And that is what art is all about. Thank you so much.

Now stories for a Friday laugh. I got in too big of a hurry and I was tired. Why do I always underestimate the amount of time it will take to finish something? Laura, my beautiful neice, was just a little girl and Aunt Teresa ALWAYS makes something for Christmas. I saw somewhere a sweatshirt with painted tree lights on it. I can do that and that's what I'll make Laura for Christmas. (Note to self - it is always cheaper to just buy the item) SO I purchase - paint - sweatshirt - paintbrush and make myself a pattern for those lights. I did read enough stuff to put something inside the shirt so the paint did not seep through to the back. And I painted the red lights, let it dry. Paint the blue lights. Dry. Paint the green lights. Dry. Paint the orange lights. Dry. Now all the lights are finished. - they need bases and a cord and a plug. New pattern. Paint black bases. Dry. Add the gold glitter paint cord. (Every little girl needs some glitter) It is now very late and I have this really cute sweatshirt almost finished. It only needed the cord plug added. Hubby was watching TV - I am at the kitchen table painting. I have been at this for hours. I should finish this tomorrow. But NOOOOO - I am this close to the finish. I place the pattern where the plug needs to go. Dip my paint brush into the black paint and proceed to leave a drip line across the entire front of this shirt. You cannot remove acrylic paint from sweatshirt fabric. I tried. I cried. I cussed. I threw things. I stomped. I gave husband the LOOK that says "you had better not laugh or say a damn word" and I threw the shirt in the trash. I bought another one the next day and finished it over several days. (learned to take a break) As of right now I know seven children passed this shirt around and wore it. We still laugh about that shirt everytime a child has it on.

I hope you all find humour in the knowledge that we all have issues with our work. that we all messed items up. Missed a deadline. Had to breakout the seam ripper. Somehow knowing that about myself and the close friends I consult, makes it all a little more normal in my studio.

I have to hurry home - I have a package from Vallen waiting to be opened. I will share on Monday what goodies she sent.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

10 years ago - happy day today for me.

The journey. I have a title I did not want. SURVIVOR. For 10 years today. This day is a big deal in the medical community. Seems like by magic, my risk of having breast cancer again just dropped in half. Today. Statistically anyway. This was the very first thing I thought about this morning. I can buy life insurance again today. That's a stupid thought to have, but the insurance companies have this magic formula they use for "high risk" people. 10 years is magic for them too.

Did something in me change overnight? No. The cosmic shift in my universe happened 10 years ago. When Dr. Howard Abney said to me "you don't have cancer anymore." I don't remember much else after those words. The "C" word flew across that desk and embedded itself into my brain at that moment, blocking every other incoming words after that. In my case, the word was powerful and took much longer to get over than the surgery.

I am different though, now. I have an appreciation for life that celebrates even the smallest pleasantries. I have eliminated as many negative (and therefore burdensome) people from my life as I can. I embrace and enjoy life and love with every thing I have. I am more patient with some and less with others. My faith is stronger, in God and in myself. While I cannot celebrate having cancer, I can tell you that there were positive changes in me from the journey.

Right before my surgery was the only true "pity party" I had. We were in Valdosta, Georgia in a hotel room, my surgery was scheduled for the following Thursday and I woke up just knowing that the "feeling sorry for myself" needed to happen. I told my husband that I was going to cry and he had options. I did not care which option he chose. Those options -- #1 cry with me -- #2 watch me cry -- #3 leave me alone and let me cry. He went and fixed breakfast in the lobby. I threw said pity party and then got on with the process. This story is funny to me even today. I even planned my pity party.

Surgery, recovery, proclamation, self evaluation, positive outcome, 10 year celebration. A journey I did not choose, but made anyway and have made the best of it.

This pillow is my own design, made during the last few years, and described by me as a healing piece. For many years, everything I worked on was dark and bland, then as I embraced the small celebrations of everyday life, color came back into my world. This is a mixed media cross stitched piece. If you click on the picture, you can see the details better. I stamped the quotes on muslin and stiched them to the aida fabric. The floss was a mixture of unlabeled vintage threads and other things I had purchased. There are words of life throughout. I had no pattern and no plan except to use the vintage floss as a symbol of my past, to include the words I was celebrating as the simple things life needs, and the quilt patterns reflecting the thousands of little stitches that make up a beautiful life.

This piece has been requested for display at my local stitch shop as a celebration for the Thanksgiving Holidays. They have also asked me to put together a display of my work for the store and the girl in charge of a national magazine has expressed interest in my designs for feature in an industry publication.

I have known about this for a little while and thought about sharing it, but I wanted to include it with the 10 celebration of my new life. I have always been a crafter, but part of the changes I have experienced in my life after cancer, is that I am trusting the inner artist in me. I have done designs for me and for swaps, but putting them into a public arena is a little uncomfortable. Exciting but uncomfortable. A few of my closest friends know that my dream is to be able to teach in a shop environment - own my own shop for creative pursuits - and design some patterns for small scale distribution. I am hoping this will be the beginning of that process becoming a reality.

Life is worth celebrating. Every tiny thing is worth experiencing. Look for beauty in your surroundings, you will find it. Look for comfort in your surroundings, you will find it. Look for strength in yourself and those around you, you will find it. Look for love of yourself, for yourself, from others, and for others, you will find it. The big bad things in life are easier to deal with if you have those thousands of tiny things making up a foundation for you.

My life is beautiful - I wish for yours to be too.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


For many years, we traveled to Kentucky every other year for the GA-KY football game. We took the girls out of school on Thursday and Friday, and would leave late on Wednesday and spend a long weekend enjoying the area.

One of my favorite places to visit while we were there was the shaker village, near Lexington. It is a restored Shaker community and I am so attracted to the simplicity of that lifestyle. Their storage solutions are incredible. Peg racks with candle holders and hanging shelves. The built in attic storage in the main building. Amazing quality of materials and craftsmanship. The quilts and other linens, the clothing, the tools.

We have been getting a barn ready for my studio space. This is a long term type of project for us because we are doing it ourselves. We both work full time and both girls play sports, plus we are active in our church. This leaves very little time for this kind of work. I can complete crafts, because what I do is portable for the most part, but I am really studying my "stash" and trying to figure out the best ways to store materials and have a work space that is user friendly. The members of the shaker community had simplicity at the heart of everything they did and I think that is what I want to achieve with this work space.

So in thinking about this today - I am using this as a list of things that are important in the space. If you guys see things missing from my list or have suggestions - please - please post a comment with the information.

Required Items -
1. Heat/AC
2. good task lighting
3. good general lighting
4. a way to look out on the area around me. (window or glass door)
5. fabric storage
6. ribbon storage
7. bead storage
8. design wall
9. inspiration bulletin boards. / magnet boards / dry erase board
10 work surface and comfy chairs.
11. a way to plug in - the sewing machine, the glue gun, the embossing gun, the dremel tool
12. paper storage
13. tool storage - scissors, glue guns, hammer, knives, paper cutters, pliers, soldering iron, dremel tool
14 easy clean floor
15 embellishment storage
16 stickers storage
17 stamps and ink storage
18 yarn/fiber storage
19 cross stitch materials storage
20 books journals magazines pattern storage.
21 misc materials - paint, glue, canvas, etc.

And all this must be pretty and easy to retreive from. Ideas ladies???? Help.

I have studied studio spaces all over and am slowly putting ideas together for this space. What is your best storage idea? What would you most like to simplify in your life?

I hope you all have a beautiful day.

Monday, October 23, 2006

What a weekend ------

Swap goodies from my pink and brown swap. This was organized by my friend MaryAnn and I got these over the weekend. There are stickers, taffy, paper, and several other goodies. Thanks Kim for the gifts.

On Saturday we had our local craft/art show in the town park. Mom came and we spent part of the morning visiting vendors and friends there. No big purchases on my part. I bought a wonderful poetry book with silhouette illustrations throughout. I also bought a wonderful, unhealthy, fattening form of breakfast --- a dutch oven cooked peach cobbler from the boy scout troop --- you know I had to support those kids. Many times I go to these fairs and they are full of cheap and quick crafts. The quality of the offerings this year was a dramatic improvement over years past. There were jewlery vendors, metal works, quilts, photography, and plenty of wonderful foods. The day was gorgeous and mother and I walked all over town checking out yard sales. Lots of fun.

After that I came home and worked on baby Maggie's quilt. It's finished. Now I have to overcome the fear of washing it and then get it wrapped for April's shower. I have this fear of it coming apart when I wash and dry it. Can't explain that either. There will be more quilts to come and the handquilting part is what I discovered that I love. So there will be more of that too. The next one is planned for baby Charley. Not as traditional - I hope my planned design works.

The pieced side.

The back.

Confessions of a fabric junkie. I have tons of fabric. On Sunday morning, I decided to work on Abby's stocking finishing. I have planned to use a green velvet dress that I wore to an event in high school. I had washed this dress and packed it up into a box of fabric. So the search was on. I emptied totes and boxes of fabric. I dug through this stuff and searched. I created what Molly called a "God awful mess" and found the dress in the last box I looked in. Then I had to put is all back. Took most of the early morning. Found some great things I had forgotten about. Now I need to figure out how to easily make a lined stocking. Then mark that off my list.

Sunday afternoon I was alone in my house. This does not happen that often. I watched a Lifetime movie about breast cancer. You all know that I fought that fight. My fight was not physically that difficult. I had surgery - no chemo - no radiation - and only inconvenient follow up. I cannot count the number of mamogram images, sonogram images, and needle aspirations, I have endured. While I am grateful that my journey was effortless compared to many, the emotional effects of the cancer words are long ranging. There is still so much suppressed fear in me. I no longer feel that so much for myself, but what if I passed this on to my children?

I found my lump through a self exam in the shower on a Sunday morning in September. I had surgery very shortly afterwards. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. The pain of the surgery was minimal - I took only tylenol. The mental pain of the wait was horrific. Seems to me that some how the medical community could find a way to shorten that wait. The medical community doesn't equip you for your husband's reaction. The medical community doesn't equip you to handle a three year old who suddenly can't be held by mommy. The medical community doesn't hold your hand during the sleepless night before the next followup mamogram. (I held my own hand through so many follow up visits.) The medical community doesn't tell you that everything changes the second you are a survivor. Many of you may read a need for pity into those statements - not so. I now know I can handle many things, mentally and physically. The man I live with has offered on recent visits to go with me. Too late. When I really needed him there was in the early times and I have had to readjust my thinking about so many things since then. I know there is fear on the spouse's part, the children's part. Everyone needs to talk about where they are in the fight. I just wish people had not been so afraid of my tears, that it had been alright to cry over the loss of my security.

The movie I watched yesterday touched on those things. When a friend was disgnosed last fall, I told her husband that no matter what she said, she needed him in the picture, close by. He has been her "knight in shining armour" to use her phrase. He has stood in the fight beside her as a partner at times, in front of her as a protector at times, and behind her as an encourager at times. Many times, a cancer patient has no idea what they need so asking is of no use. Sometimes it takes to much effort to come up with an answer, so often the answer is nothing, when they really need everything. If you haven't been through it, you may not realise that it is a family disease affecting everything.

Me - today - strong - advocating for young women to take control of their health - vocal about the unspoken needs of cancer patients - about the needs of their families. Me today - still afraid it may come back - afraid for my girls that I may have passed this genetic structure on to them - afraid that I may never have a sense of security about anything again. Me today - thankful for those who supported me through the battle - thankful that they are still around - thankful for the advances in medical care and diagnosis - thankful for those that made it okay to cry out of fear or frustration. Me today - the one thing I never wanted to be - A SURVIVOR.

Have a beautful day.

Friday, October 20, 2006

October gave a party....

From one of my favorite poems. It goes as follows

October gave a party,
The Leaves by hundreds came,
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet
And every thing was grand.
Ms. Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
George Cooper

I love the imagery of this and that what I tried to capture in the above ATC for the Autumn Splendor ATC swap on swap-bot. The ATC I am posting today fulfil my final swap-bot committment before the holidays. I may join some more after the first of the year.

Last night as I put the finishing touches on these, I was thinking about the party October is throwing. The leaves here are beginning to change, and one of my favorites, is on the way to work, after I drop off the girls. The tree is a brilliant orange and is breathtaking today. The Sunshine here is even a different color at this time of the year. The Weather is a fickle dance partner though, damp, cloudy, brilliant sun, cold mornings, warm days, fog, clear nights -- it would seem that she just can't decide which song she wants to move to. Professor wind brings in the band at my house with the sound of a windchime that is low and resonant, like an ocean harbour bell. The tin roof on the porch has the percussion sounds of acorns and pecans falling off the trees or of the rain falling. If you listen closely you can even hear the whisper of the background music of those falling leaves. All five senses are invited to the party. The sights of the colors, the feel of the changes in the air, the sounds of the nuts dropping off the trees, the smell of evening fires, and the taste of harvest crops in soups and stews. These are all from my celebration inventory today.

I do hope the recipients enjoy these.

The second picture is of textile ATC for Robyn in Australia. They are made from shirt scraps I have. Even the buttons are recycled from old shirts. I find myself returning over and over to textiles and fiber art when I am working. So I am starting to focus more in that arena. I will always be a mixed media artist but with fiber and textile roots.

I also received a wonderful phone call last night from Vallen, who received my pink and brown package yesterday. Thank you for sharing your excitement with me. I am so happy that MaryAnn paired us together. I can see us becoming great friends. You are so very welcome my queenly friend, Vallen.

This weekend I hope to rest, relax, rewind. Maybe get a little work completed in the MaggieGrace Studio. Finish baby Maggie's quilt and start the plan for an opportunity I was presented with this week. I need a little input from you for a part of this planning. I have an idea for a 4 letter word design. I would love to hear your favorite NICE 4 letter word. For example I have already on my list - rest, love, pray, play - please comment with two or three nice four letter words of your own.

Thank you blog friends in advance.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Looks Like Nothing is Happening at My House

From my blog posts, it looks like absolutely nothing creative is happening in Comer, GA. Not true, it's just that some of these things need to remian a secret for just a little while longer. Add to that fact, it is damp, overcast, and horrible for photographs here.

If you read the Inspirco blog, you know that she has had some negative comments on her blog about getting excited about little things. Josephine has had negative comments about her significant other. There have been many others who have had this problem. I have my own opinions about things. I have ranted and raved here. And with the day I am having, I would love to do it again. But someone would probably have negative things to say about the healthy emotions being expressed.

I love to have visitors here. I love the friends I have made through this medium. People who know me as a living and breathing person have learned even more about me through this site. I do not expect any of these people to always agree with my viewpoint. As in my real life, I will not tolerate attacks though. If you can intelligently express your disagreement without calling me stupid, or crazy, or calling me those things just because I am female and therefore not worthy of my voting rights, I will listen and respect your opinion. Otherwise - I have the power of my delete key and I reserve the right to use it. I do not have to listen to you trash me in person. I will not be treated as second class because I am female. There is a funny story here.

Me and a car dealership service department.

I was having an itermittant electrical problem with my car. The lights would go out. If I hit a bump in the road they would come back on. Now my dad was a mechanic and insisted that we learn and understand how some things work. I have a degree in Electronics Engineering Tech. I was a test and troubleshooting technician for Nuclear Submarine Controls at one time. My expert opinion - a loose connection. So to the dealership I go. More than once. Little boy technician who can plug up a dignostic computer to a connecter labeled test here cannot find a problem. After several trips abput the same issue - here is the conversation.

ME: I know you have not been able to find this problem.

LBT: Ma'am the diagnostic machine indicates nothing is wrong.

ME: It's an intermittant problem. You are not going to find it unless the lights are not working --- RIGHT NOW.

LBT: Ma'am I can only tell you what the machine says.

ME: I want the harness connection replaced. There is a loose connection somewhere and I do not want to suddenly be in the dark somewhere dangerous.

LBT: Ma'am there is nothing wrong with your car. The computer........

I have now lost all of my patience at this time and I interrupt LBT

ME: I don't give a damn what your computer says. I want the wire harness changed. I will pay for the parts and the labor. I am not leaving here without this being done. I have made several trips and I will not make another one on this issue.

LBT: Ma'am (He was always polite in his talking down to me) I cannot correct a problem that doesn't exist. And I cannot just start changing parts.

ME: Listen young man. I am telling you......

VOICE FROM THE BACK: You really should do what she asks.

ME: (thinking finally a voice of reason) Thank you.

VOICE FROM THE BACK: She probably knows more about that car than you ever knew.

ME: (now trying to put a face with this voice from the past) smirk.


VOICE FROM THE BACK IS THE SERVICE MANAGER who knew I would lose it entirely if he did not intervene. Has them change the wire harness and connectors. He was one of my dad's students and knew that I was not crazy. Nor stupid. Nor willing to give up a fight I would win.

Guess what - I was right. There was a loose connection in the harness. Damn - a female with common sense and intuition was right. LBT and his computer were both wrong. Service manager used this as a lesson to teach LBT about not talking down to a customer. The part I have a problem with - this would never have happened to a man, would it?

Any way - back to my point. You don't have to agree with me. But you do have to treat me respectfully to have a place in my world. Otherwise, as quick as you are out of my site, you are out of my mind. And I still reserve the right to hit the delete button.

More MaggieGrace creative goodies to come.

The photo at the top is the International Space Station. We watched it cross our night sky last night. What a thrill.

Have a beautful day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The photo is one from Flickr. If you are not already familiar wiht this site, by all means browse through. Plenty of "eye candy" available there.

Have you ever just sat and made yourself be aware? It has happened accidentally to me at times, but I am finding on this quest toward becoming fully mentally and emotionally healthy that I need to make time for this awareness. I read a lot of blogs and I have found kindred souls on this trek. Some do it with "gratitude friday" posts. Some are doing it with the "self portrait challenge". Some have embraced awareness as a part of their daily life for unknown reasons. Some have survived life changing illness that have triggered awareness. That is the category I fall into. I sporadically take part in the "blog challenges" and I am comfortable with the occasional participation.

Today, I am celebrating the awareness of my life and surroundings.

1. I love the color of candlelight through a glass of red wine.
2. I love the sound of the laughter of my loved ones.
3. I love walking in the foggy morning air. The slightly damp feeling of my hair and clothes when I come back in. The shrouded feeling of not seeing everything on my walking path. Of being aware of my breathing and heartbeat, and the strength that my body gains from this exertion. Of not having anything to sort out in my trek today.
4. I love the way a loving and comforting hand touches my face. I try to do this for my girls often too.
5. I love knowing what breathing pattern is truly asleep and what is Abby playing possum.
6. I love the front porch swing at my house. It's where I retreat to alone, I share it with friends and family, and I share it with the kitty cat when she needs it too. I especially love this swing at night, with candles and a drink in my hand.
7. I love being so insync with someone, that you say the same thing at the same time. Or you finish each others thoughts, or you respond to an unspoken need just because you sense it.
8. I love the feel of a pressed and starched cotton shirt as I run my hand across it.
9. I love for someone to play with my hair, brush it off my face, tangle their fingers in it. (I always get a shampoo when I have my haircut because my hairdresser includes a scalp massage with the shampoo.)
10. I love the feeling of losing myself in a song - just because I think it was written for me and mine.
11. I love the smell of fresh cut grass, of pine trees in the air, of suntan oil at the beach, of a fire in the fireplace, of rain in the southern summer heat.
12. I love being quiet enough to hear a leaf falling on the porch.
13. I love the rowdy sound of teenagers filling my house because I know where my children are.
14. I love the words "I LOVE YOU" spoken with heart, soul, and forgivness in them - not just because it seems like the thing to say.
15. Just so you know that I can be as shallow as the next one, I love the way a well fitted bra and panties feel.

These are some things that I am aware of today. Making myself aware brings creativity back to me. I rest better when I can slow my mind enough to just be. I appreciate my life so much more because a well lived life is never about the big things, it's about millions of tiny things recognized.

Your challenge today. Be aware of one tiny thing. Look through the glass of life and realize that some of the contents are beautiful no matter if its empty, 1/2 empty, 1/2 full, or full and overflowing. Mine is overflowing. I am loved by a select few. I am liked by a few more. Even more than that -- I love who I am right now. My life is beautiful.

Have a beautiful day.

Monday, October 16, 2006


This is on its way - I have waited to post so that maybe it will have arrived. Pink and brown. This was spread all over the island between my living and dining room for days. If you guys are regular readers, you know I make piles and add to them and subtract from them as I do any project. That includes swap packages too. I had so much stuff, that it took two boxes to ship it.

I do hope Ms. Vallen will find some use for this stuff. If not, please pass it along to someone who will.

Vallen was MaryAnn's partner. When I read the things she enjoys, I found that she is a creator of crowns, so I tried really hard to send things she might be able to use in that process. There are ribbons, papers, threads, some little bowls to hold stuff, and the ultimate sustaining product for crafting ---- chocolate. I do hope there are things in here she enjoys.

I had a good weekend for WIP. I have finished two sides of the binding on Baby Maggie's quilt. I made and mailed 6 bird ATC for Kristen's bird swap, I started another "surprise" for Vallen. We have started emailing about a trip she is taking into my neck of the woods, and I told her how much I loved the crown she made for MaryAnn. She offered to make me one and I am making her something in return. I cannot wait.

I found a magazine with the perfect "quick" ornaments to make for the church bazaar and I will be making those in the next few weeks.

An updated list of where I am -
1. finish baby Maggie's quilt
2. mail the ATC for swap bot textile swap
3. mail the ATC for swapbot autumn splendor swap
4. design and finish something for baby Deandra
5. design and finish something for baby Charley (girl)
6. make about 50 items for the church bazaar.
7. finish Abbys stocking assembly.
8. finish Vallen's surprise.
9. handmade Christmas cards for several newfound friends.
10 ATC ATC ATC for the indulgence project. (to be completed before the end of the year)

How am I going to function when Molly leaves for college? Her WIP this weekend was to respond to colleges all over the nation seeking more information about curriculum, financial aid, athletics, scholarship opportunities, etc. She is only a Jr. but I can see the separations coming, and I am just not sure I am ready for this. I have several more years with Abby, then I will really be without the interaction that gets me through my days. I have said for years that I am destined to spend the end of my life in silence, and I can see that time drawing near.

So how do I deal with all this? I create. It is one thing that is a part of me. I find that my creative work is satisfying and gives me a solace, a way to get absorbed into a project and quietly contemplate the changes my life is about to undergo. I am often quiet, but never bored. The challenge of making something keeps my brain occupied to prevent boredom. Planning the next project keeps me inspired. Reading other people's words here and in creative magazines helps keep that inspiration engine moving. So - like every other change that has occurred in my life - I will meet this challenge as well. I know this about myself and yet I am still sometimes afraid of the changes that will come when the children are gone.

What do I want from my life after children? I want to travel. I want to have long and intimate conversations without interruption. I want to share time with like minded people. I want to improve my artistic abilities. I want to be cherished for the person I am at that moment in time. I want to encourage others. I want to be encouraged. I want to dance. I want to have the energy to play. I want to love hard and live fully. I want to laugh. I want someone to hold my hand. Damn - this list is not much different than what I want now.

What do you wish for?

Have a beautiful day.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13 - WIP

The handquilting is complete. I found that I LOVE the process of the handwork. I think that may be why I turn to cross stitch over and over. As I continue working on the ATC for my indulgence project, I find myself wanting to pick up fabric, needle and thread. I find myself drawn to the tactile feel of the different fabrics, to the texture the thread creates, to the rhythm I find when the "zone" is reached. CraftApple posted her gorgeous baby quilt after the washing, I am even entranced by the puckering and wrinkling that a quilt takes on after that first trip through the washer and dryer.

I am exhilarated by other processes and mediums, but I find myself coming back to the needlecrafts again and again, so you will continue to see those types of creations here with much more frequency.

The nights here have turned cooler. I found myself reaching for the heavier covers last night. And many of our regular customers have talked about that this morning. There is an honesty about handmade quilts that you cannot purchase at the big box stores. The materials chosen by the artisan, the weight of the materials, the tedious hand stitching. Everything about a handmade quilt was a decision by the maker. With "production line" beddings, that personal touch is gone. The quilt may be just as warm physically, but it sure doesn't have that warm the soul feeling that my emotional side responds to. A crocheted afghan has that same feeling to me. Someone took the time to sit still and work with her hands to create this. Handknits - same thing.

The older I get, the more respect and admiration I have for handcrafted items. There have been times in the past that I would buy the "production" items because of the prestige they had. I gifted people with store bought items for the same reason. I didn't think anyone would really appreciate a handmade gift from me.

As I have become more adept at my creations, I have begun giving them as gifts. I have learned that the time I spend thinking of the recipient, praying for them, planning for their gift occasion, and loving them in the process is really more important than the gift itself.

I have also started to purchase more "cottage industry" handmade creations and art pieces. Sometimes from the elderly who supplement their income, sometimes kids trying to make a little extra spending money, sometimes artists who make their living bringing beauty into the lives of others.

As I refine and develop my own process and aesthetic in my creations, I hope to find a cheering squad out there to encourage me. I hope to be a part of many cheering squads for others. I have discovered that the creative community is always willing to share, cheer, encourage, inspire, and purchase with and from each other. Thank you all who have cheered for me so far. Thank you all for allowing me to cheer for you.

Take a look back at the toile print in the quilt photo. I can imagine those two ladies sharing thoughts, tears, laughter, and encouragement. That's how I think of each one of you who touches my life. As someone I can sit and share a conversation with. A conversation we both can learn from.

Sit and share today. Encourage an artist. Purchase an item. Make you own item just for your pleasure. Share an item you made with someone. To borrow a phrase from NIKE : JUST DO IT. (Sorry Mr Randolph-I know that's Tiger's brand).

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I do not participate in a lot of these but I really needed something easy to post. And I was tagged simply by reading someone else's list. I apologize in advance to some who may be offended (included) in these answers...

Have You Ever:

Taken a picture completely naked? Who me - not completely - evidence destroyed - but there may be newsreel footage.

Danced in front of a mirror naked? Absolutely not - I try to avoid mirrors if I can especially in that state.

Told a lie? I think everyone's answer here better be yes.

Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? Yup - and finding out that he didn't was devastating at the time.

Been arrested? Nope.

Seen someone die? Yes and death doesn't scare me as much anymore.

Kissed a picture? Over and over - worked hard to obtain a picture I could kiss.

Slept in until 5pm? Oh yes - how exquisite a luxury is that when your babies are small and MIL let's you rest.

Had sex at work? Define sex -- Better not answer that in order to protect the guilty. Remember I am old and have had a lot of jobs.

Fallen asleep at work? Yes - driving back and forth at night to the hospital - a quick nap was in order to survive.

Held a snake? Not because I wanted to, but yes I have. Seems a toddler thought it was funny to hand mom a dead garter snake. The resulting phrase was repeated at inappropriate times for months.

Ran a red light? Not on purpose and no one was coming.

Been suspended from school? Hell no - my mother would have killed me - besides I was always the responsible child.

Pole danced? Absolutely not. However, I have made statements about becoming a stripper.

Been fired from a job? Sure wish I had been - it would have made drawing my unemployment easier.

Sang Karaoke? I love to sing and have been told I should sing more. So yes - yes - yes is the answer here.

Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes - and the result has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments in my life.

Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Beer is really gross when this occurs. I ended up spitting the remainder across the table. This story involved my mother, a stranger, and the words "battery operated toys" nuff said.

Laughed until you peed? Yup - and have been threatened with being tickled to that point again.

Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes and it is a lot of fun to teach toddlers how to do this. Just imagine a little one wandering around - tongue stuck out. Bet you smiled at the thought.

Kissed in the rain? And I would love to with the right person again.

Had sex in the rain? Not yet.

Sang in the shower? All the time.

Gave your private parts a nickname? Not - but I am not opposed to slang terms.

Ever gone to work without underwear? Not in my line of work - that would be stupid.

Sat on a rooftop? On my mothers house - on my grandmothers house. Never on the house I live in now. Often on my dads truck roof at the racetrack. Thanks for this question, that was a very pleasant memory jog.

Played chicken? not in car - I was more into drag racing - but I have on a bike. My baby sister always backed down.

Been pushed/thrown into a pool with all your clothes on? Yes - and there were threats of death to the pusher - note to self - tell Jim's girls that story.

Broken a bone? Collar bone, nose, and pinky toes (over and over).

Flashed someone? Yes - Collected Mardi Gras beads - where are those beads now? I later used them in a Bible School Craft. Stop laughing - I know you want to know that whole story.

Mooned Someone? Yes - I was always a hang. Monica was a press.

Skinny Dipped? There was a time when I was so drunk I forgot to take off my clothes.

Shaved your head? I have done many shocking things to my hair but that is not one of them.

Slept Naked? Yes - there will be no other details here.

Blacked out from drinking? Nope - there were mornings when I wish I could forget what happened.

Played a prank on someone? Still do - and there are still some people out there who should be very aware?

Had a gym membership? Yes - and at the time it was money well spent.

Felt like killing someone? Not literally - there have been fleeting thoughts but nothing strong enought to act on.

Cried over someone you were in love with? Yes - would it be true love if they aren't worthy of your tears? I can say that I have truely loved at this point in my life.

Had Mexican jumping beans as pets? We have had them - but never thought of them as pets.

Been in a band? Not in an official capacity but I have sung with several over the years.

Shot a gun? Yes - many times.

Shot a bow and arrow? Yes, but not in years. Funny, me and best friend were talking about this recently.

Played strip poker? No - strip blackjack goes much quicker with two people.

Donated blood? Yes - quite often in the past. Not so much lately.

Ever jump out of an airplane? Not yet - but I would love you.

Been to more than 10 countries?? Close - but not quite.

I tag some of my new friends - Vallen (queenlythings) , MaryAnn (a very mary design), and
Laura (altered eye). I hope they will play.

Hope you enjoyed learning way too much about me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Clip Art Challenge

This is a sample sheet from Dover Publications. They offer copyright free images and if you sign up for their email they will send updates and sample pages.

The challenge for you. Print this page any size and use any combination of these images to make a note card or post card. Add your materials, findings, etc. Leave a note about your image in my comments, post it on your blog, or email me a copy of the image and I will post here. My email teresahome@juno.com. Now for the really fun part. Choose a person who inspires you and randomly mail the card to them. Unsigned.

I received an unsigned art card in the mail recently and it simply said "thanks for inspiring me to be my best." It was one of the most rewarding pieces of mail I have ever received. I communicate with a lot of people and I have no idea who sent this. It may have even been one of my daughters or a friend. I only know it was anonymous and encouraging.

As we see the art - we will be inspired by you. Whoever receives the card will be encouraged by you. The random act of kindness you generate will spill over and the benefits will be many and widespread.

I thank you all for being a part of my life. Have fun with this. Please share your art. This doesn't have to be a long drawn out thing - just a quick and thoughtful note with a personal touch among all the junk mail and bills that we find every day in the mailbox. I promise your recipient will smile.

Hey if you receive a card - let me know too.

Who's playing along here???

Have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The view into my home's heartbeat. This is from the front porch last night into the living room. This is the room where our homelife occurs. Through the lace of crochet tableclothes that function as my curtains, are the two people who are most special to me. Molly and Abby were on the sofa completely unaware that I was watching.

We are busy - work - sports - church - school - so the time we spend here is precious. Someone has asked me if we ever sit down for a family meal. My answer "we eat together quite often; it just happens in public places."

I sit in my bright red porch swing at night a lot and watch this view. There is a comfort in seeing that my children want to be here instead of "away" with their friends. Their friends are often here. My friends are often here. That's what makes it home.

The computer is in this room. The tv is in this room. My sewing machine gets brought into this room. This is the reading room. Molly beads in here. Abby creates her cards in here. They roughhouse here. We all pile on the sofa together here to watch favorite shows. Dad watches football (if he can get to the remote first) here. We live here.

The decor is eclectic. Reflecting the personalities of those who live here. We are creative souls and we all thrive on bringing new life to those old things. Kind of like the life we bring to this old house.

The walls that make a house do not make it a home. HOME is made one tiny thread at a time. One courtesy - one kind word - one bit of encouragement - one forgiveness - laughter - tears - accomplishment - homework problem - meal - acceptance - you know that this list could go on and on. The true sharing of life with those you care for makes it HOME.

We so often focus on the view from our home. Take a few minutes today and look through the windows into your home. I would love to hear your thoughts on what home is for you and those you love.

Have a beautiful day.

Monday, October 09, 2006


These are out of order - no matter what I try blogger just sometimes does that. I will try and edit the wording to fit the images. I have a serious fabric stash. Boxes and shelves and drawers full. I have been on a "Use What I Have" kick and am using up some of this stash. But the Fabric Fetish Monster required food and in an answer that responds to good karma, the fabric warehouse in Iva, South Carolina has its open to the public weekend. Thus the monster is fed.

I have a soulmate in this fetish. My mother. I can tell you all that had she not been such a wonderful teacher in some areas, my wallet would be so much healthier. She taught me to create and she taught me to read. Both are hobbies that require money. Oh well.

Take a look at the goodies in these pictures. This place is not much to look at from the outside. An old textile mill. looks like a decrepit building. Go up the ramp and inside and its a warehouse that requires (demands) attention. Racks of fabric on the bolts. Bins of end lots, Threads, Notions, Trims, all kinds of stuff for a junkie like me.

Upholstry fabric, satin, shirting, drapes, monks cloth, acres of it. Tapestry panels, miles of trimmings, buttons. Grab bag boxes. The monster is sometimes gluttonous, sometimes the appetite can be controlled. This particular day it was a single 5 yard piece of drapery fabric in a glorious gold with tiny wine colored flowers. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but it made the Fetish Monster happy, satisfied the sweet tooth, so to speak. A grab bag of wired trim and tassels, and 4 hospital receiving blankets, plain white to embroider for a friend. Grand total for the feast - $19.47 us dollars.

I had emailed a friend about this and told her I would post the next dates. november 2,3,4 and december 7,8,9. I can't go in November but will try for December.

After we left there, we enjoyed a nice long drive through back roads and ended up in Lavonia, Georgia at a new quilt store, Ola's Quilts. The selections are still limited, but growing, it's only been open for 2 months. It is owned by Ola and she is just now starting this venture in her 70's. I hope my dream job is a reality before I get to be 70 something.

It was a beautiful weekend. I have accomplished a lot (thanks to both of my girls for all their help). And feeding the monster has brought a wave of inspiration for some MaggieGrace goodies.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Share with us how you feed your "stash monster".

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday - WIP

Can my child qualify as a WIP? Abby eating breakfast. Nope - she's not sick - this is her eating position almost all the time. I have no idea how it started. But she eats laying down on the sofa all the time. Doesn't matter what the food is either. Cereal, no problem. Steak - no problem either.

If I did this, I would have food all over me and my clothes and the sofa. But she does not make a mess at all.

This looks a mess too. It also does not matter what the temp is - there is always cover on the sofa. Polar fleece or a crochet blanket made by my grandmother. They both cover up every time they sit down. The remote is most likely tucked into the fold behind the cushions too. That gives them the power to torture mom and dad with thing like That's so Raven and Kim Possible.

Molly sits at the end with her feet tucked under her. Abby is stretched out like this. Hardly ever a cross word between them - unless one decides that a highly unladylike "silent but deadly" occurs on the other.

This WIP will continue for years I'm sure. But I do have to say they are my favorite project so far. In all of my artistic endeavors, I have some idea what the outcome will be. With these girls, I am just doing the best I can, praying a lot, and hoping that the mistakes I make will not be too costly in the end. You sure don't get many "do-overs" with children.

Right now it looks like we've done okay. They are both beautiful, good students, respectful, caring girls. I just keep praying they continue on this path.

The real WIP for this weekend. Baby Maggie's quilt, 6 sets of ATC, and all the housework that accumulates through the week.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hospitality 101

Aren't the colors yummy. These grow along the fence at work and every morning I think just how pretty they really are. I work in an unconventional environment. (understatement extreme). We sell plumbing - irrigation - pump and well supplies. I am the showroom manager and the only female among many men. I cannot say gentlemen because the language at our counter is atrocious at times. Out behind our building, there are goats and a donkey that belong to the landlord and there are times when we become herdsmen whether we wish to or not. Our fishtank is a toilet bowl and practical jokes are daily. I am not bothered by the testosterone rich environment, so it is a fun work place to be in every day. I have been amused by the stories on blogs about plumbers and contractors, even your worst nightmare pales by the reality. (Corey at Tongue in Cheek earns the prize for best looking contractors)

I do take a lot of ribbing because I'm the only female and I have tried to make it a more refined atmosphere. The showroom is pretty and the homeowners are comfortable here. I have become aware that hospitality is definitely a talent worth cultivating. Why is it that women are more likely to take this talent seriously? I want my home, my office , my artistic work space to be welcoming to others. I want people to be comfortable in my company. At work I do this by buffering the male dominated environment, by offering a sympathetic ear if a customer is struggling with an issue, by gently nudging a decision direction if needed, mostly by giving them well-trained, experienced information for their selection process. At home, I do this by allowing my house to reflect all of its occupants. There are music and sport pictures in the living areas as well as "pretty" creative touches. We all live here and all of our friends are welcome. I welcome others into our life by not agonizing over the small stuff. If you come to my house and there are dishes in the sink, they will most like still be there when you leave because I am going to spend my time visiting with you. We may even add a coffee cup or more dishes to those dirty ones, if you will join me for food. I am no longer embarassed by the fact that I cannot get it all done.

As for my artistic work space. Planning the space in the barn is so much fun. Once I get it all finished I want to have storage, comfy seating for me and visitors (hopefully my girls a lot of the time), work space for me and a visitor if someone woud like to join me, and fun, funky, art pieces to share with all who enter. I want friends and those I love to feel like they can join me there to visit or to work along side of me. Low key and relaxed, a place to get away from the things that drain creativity away. A place that encourages play.

Help me out here. What kind of environment gives you that "warm fuzzy" and welcome feeling? What inspires you? How do you keep it all organized and "pretty" and still have your personality show through? If you were visiting me, what would you like to see, smell, touch, hear, taste?

No the space is nowhere near ready, but I am inviting you and I want you to help me make you comfortable here.

Mail goodies. I am participating in the Autumn Splendor swap on swap-bot and my first cards came yesterday. The top left one is my favorite. I am beginning to have quite a large assortment of ATC and I need ideas for storage and display. Help again. Right nowI have them in photo sleeves in a book, but I really want them to be visible. Ideas???? Again - I want to have those things out that inspire creativity, but I want them displayed in a slightly offbeat way.

Guess that's because I am slightly offbeat in my own way.

Have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Apron Inspiration

If you haven't already, run to the newstand and pick this up. I saw it last night at the grocery store and bought it. I came home, sat down and read it cover to cover. There are apron tales and ideas and 5 free apron patterns. That's right 5 FREE patterns.

It's part magazine and part catalog. The stories are wonderful and inspiring for life simplification and caring for your home and family.

Add to the apron patterns a topsy turvey doll pattern of little red riding hood. That was a very pleasant surprise for me to find. I cannot wait to get started on that. And I have too much going to start anything else. So I will add it to the list of inspiration ideas.

I am over halfway finished with the quilting of the red and white quilt. then just the binding and finishing to go. There is a pile of pink and brown goodness in the center of the dining room table to be wrapped and mailed. There's a box of goodies on a stool in the kitchen being tagged and confirmed for Leslie who won my 100 post contest. The angel is awaiting the remainder of her stocking. ATC are getting ready to travel to new homes. AND the appraiser is coming early next week to look at the house. I am not sure how to get it all done. The studio takes a back burner status this week.

The weather here in the south is absolutely wonderful. Cool mornings, low humidity, warm afternoons. Perfect. This is my favorite time of the year.

I am having a wonderful day and I hope you all are too.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gratitude through the Storm

My Nanny (my mother's mom) sewed at a machine much like this. Heavy old machine with treadle disabled but still in place. Someone at sometime added an electric motor to it.

We lost her in October a few years ago. I should reword that. We actually lost her in March of that same year. We lost her to something called Calcification Brain Atrophy. Her brain started turning to stone. The disease mimics the symptoms of Alzheimers but progresses very quickly.

I spent hours at the hospital really late at night. I drove the miles between my home and the hospital late and in the dark. I was exhausted and it was horrible to see her restrained to a bed and not know even who she was much less who we were. But I gladly went and spent time there.

I have had opportunity to spend time with her as she was dying and with Mama Norvan and Grandma and Grandpa Simpson (my husband's grandparents). Each experience was different, each called me to exert different emotions and express my service to them in myriad ways. With Mama Norvan - she was alert and we shared things with each other right up until the end. She was funny and calm and ready to meet the Precious Lord she adored. We sang and we read the Bible and we shared. It was one of my most beautiful experiences. Grandma Simpson was reserved and quiet and we did not share very much but that was her nature. Grandpa Simpson needed physical care, care that with the wrong attitude would have been humiliating and demeaning for him. Hospice was there, but I felt that some of it needed to be our responsiblility. I loved him for his wisdom and integrity and it was a priviledge to care for him at the end. Then Nanny, she screamed and moaned and was physically violent at times. She was almost like an animal caged and ferocious at times. The only thing that could be done was restraint and sedation. It was horrible to watch the strong woman I knew from my childhood deteriorate in that way. But it was the disease that caused it. And I did not retreat from the time I spent there with her.

Even at the end she held on to her faith. One night as I was there- I started softly singing the hymns of my faith - and she quieted and listened. I spent that night leaned over the rail on her bed singing and crying as I realized that we would never have her back. I had a co-worker (read that best friend) who was wise enough to say nothing at times - but who was always there - and supported me in quiet ways. He let me know that I did not always have to be the strong one. If I needed to talk he just listened. As I made decisions, he was my sounding board and gave me well thought out advice if I asked. I want to thank him for that. I want to thank him for giving me the knowledge that I could call at any time. Thank him for taking the time to really listen to me and hear the between the lines stuff every one is afraid to say out loud. Thanks for the knowledge that tears were not a sign of weakness. Thanks for not trying to stop the tears when they started. Thanks for bringing lunch and a coke with ice and a straw because I needed to rest instead of running around at lunch. Thanks for allowing laughter to be a part of the process even if others thought it inappropriate Thanks for teaching me more about being a real friend.

Those deaths were hard. But every challenge was met with the strength to go on. Strength that often came from an unknown place. There were so many people who help hold us up at each turn. There were those who came behind and helped us pick up the pieces. There were those who laughed with us, cried with us, cooked for us, were just there when we needed to hold a hand. I thank them all.

The point of this post. I have seen calls for caring in blogland of late. I know of many people in my day to day life who need my caring. Reach out for those people. Take the time to give a little or a lot of yourself for them. Don't run from the effort it may take to answer a need. It will be hard in some cases or this may be easy for you. Sharing in hardship is a heavy load. Remember that it may seem heavy or even impossible to you. But just imagine how heavy it is for the one enduring the pain. Your effort can lighten that load enough for them to rest a little or to have a bit of reprieve from the storm around them. Sometimes all it takes is knowing that someone cares.

If you are in need of that caring, by all means, reach out. There is absolutely no reason to try to carry a burden by yourself. People do care and will help if they know there is a need. There is no weakness in accepting help from those who would really love to give it.

I am celebrating the lives of those who have gone before me today. I am expressing gratitude for an opportunity to serve them in someway as they lived their last days. I am expressing gratitude for those who helped ease my load through all of my trials. I am expressing gratitude for those who have allowed me the priviledge of helping them in large and small ways as they endured storms.

I am a blessed woman.

I wish blessings on each of you. Have a beautiful day.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's October -

It's spirit week at the high school. This fact was cause for a ton of laughter on Sunday afternoon. There is a schedule Monday is country day, Tuesday twin day, Wednesday flashback 80's day, Thursday pajama day, Friday red/gray day. Put it this way Monday and Wednesday brought giggles and laughing until tears flowed. Molly is right at 6 feet tall and heels are a rarity - me, country girl at heart owns cowboy boots - Molly decided that those boots are a requirement for this theme and the laughter occurs when she first puts them on and tries to walk. Standing still, she is a beautiful sight. Tight jeans, plaid shirt, cowboys boots adding even more length to her legs, long dark hair, the mama pride swells as I see the young woman she has become. Then the walking occured and we both dissolved in the fit of laughter. She went to school this morning with a spare pair of shoes in the book bag.

Then she disappears into her room and comes back in that 80's flashback outfit. Short skirt, leggings, hot pink off shoulder shirt, huge hair, pink earrings, and black pumps. I am not sure what triggered the giggles, but I think embarassment that I actually dressed like that was the deal. She could have copied a photo out of my high school yearbook. I cannot believe I looked like that, but she brings out the photo albums and points it out to me. I am so glad we are a close family and that she was not mortified by the laughing, she was laughing as hard as I was. I am not at all happy that really bad clothing taste has been recorded in those photo albums.

The MaggieGrace studio project took a step backward because of a weather issue. The storms from last week caused some minor damage that now takes the priority. Trying to squeeze completing this project into an already full schedule is proving to be a source of frustration. It will be worth it in the end, its just taking a while. I really can't wait to have that space just for me.

Work in Progress - the quilt for baby Maggie - she's due just before Christmas . I mailed my embroidered tea towels today. The photo is above. The bird is my own design and you will see it several incarnations to come. Can't explain it but I was taken by it and have enlarged and reduced it for some projects. Some ATC to come.

Last night we had a dinner and worship service at our church. We call it Laity night because the music is led by the Laity chair and our pastor gets to take a night and just worship with us. It's very informal and relaxed and usually a very worshipful atmosphere. The food is incredible. Jones Chapel has some of the best cooks in the world.

Last night I was having a hard time worshipping because of the snide and hurtful comments from one person. Why do people have to be demeaning? Is there something in those people that needs to feel powerful at someone else expense? This often doesn't get to me but yesterday it did. Here's the scenario. I took the quilt with me to work on. I am hand quilting - this is my first project - and I love the rhythm that the handquilting takes on. I am a stick and stab quilter. Cannot do that smooth and even several stitch thing no matter how hard I try. So I stick and stab and am completing this quilt in that manner. Said person approaches the table and says "you are never going to finish that thing like that. You need to learn to quilt correctly." Then she proceeds to critique the preacher's haircut, someone's attire, the air-conditioning, the kitchen faucet, anything and everything. You know the type, and every church has one of these people. Anyway, last night she affected me. Today, in retrospect, I can learn from her. Funny thing about all of the quilting comments - she has never made a quilt.

What can I learn? What did I learn? As a Christian, I need to choose the positive. I need to make an effort to offset people like her in everyone's life. I can be the encourager, I can be a part of solutions, instead of just complaining about the problems. I can be available to teach others, if they would like my input. I can share my experiences without forcing my opinion onto someone. I can build people up instead of tearing them down. I can choose to share my blessings with others. I can gain so much by helping another person be their best instead of trying to make myself look good with negative and destructive comments. And I can forgive this lady and choose to love her anyway.

So today I am more worshipful than I was last night. God has my attention and I am listening to what I was to learn from this particular lesson. Talk to me God, I am listening.

Have a beautiful day.