Thursday, May 31, 2007

A list of things I need to use ..... and a WIP

Contessa Kris had a post on her blog that I thought was a fabulous idea. I am blatantly copying the idea with my own list. She has been cleaning and organizing and doing the same kinds of things I am in using what she has. I have a ton of stuff at my house and I only use out of a portion of it. Probably because I can't lay my hands on it. So last night I kind of dug through some of the drawers and cautiously opened a few doors.

Ta-da - the list of things I bought but haven't used - and now will try to find a use for.

1. upholstry fabric - I reach for lighter weight stuff all the time so look for a few projects using some of this heavier stuff.
2. tapestry fabrics - see note above.
3. scrapbook papers - I really need to do some cards and tags. This runs in spurts.
4. Masks - ceramic MardiGras type masks. The plastic eye masks. bought for a party and never used.
5. Precut tulle circles - bought on clearance for pennies a pack. used on the crown for Nerissa
6. paper doilies - see note 5.
7. Bright colored embossing powders - found these when deciding on shelf space for the stamp shelf
8. wallpaper pieces - not a clue why I have these.
9. lettering templates - the plastic ones you use a pen or pencil through
10. tiny glass vials (i think they were called watch makers vials)
11. clear christmas ornaments
12. glass nuggets - a grocery bag full - those little round coloered things with a flat back -- ???????
13. glass finish liquid stuff??? similar to diamond glaze
14. unfinished wooden stuff - boxes, purses, birhouses, etc
15. spools of remnant upholstry yarns. bought at the fabric warehouse in all kinds of colors
16. frames - lots of picture frames - big ones - little ones - round ones - funky shaped ones.
17. various office supplies - old notebooks - sheet protectors - file jackets
18. sizzix machine and dies - I actually just broke this out for the mounted ATC but i really need to use it more often.
19. polymer clay -
20. magazines - I buy them a look at them over and over and rarely make any projects out of them. they are just "eye candy"

So, having identified that I need to utilize my magazines in a more deliberate manner, I decided to use a pattern from American Patchwork and Quilting last night for the Roy Rogers Cowboy Quilt. The Blue and White four patch quilt is stunning in the magazine - see page below.

And it looked complicated. So I drooled and turned the page many times before. Last night I actually studied the pattern and discovered only two sizes of squares. A 4 inch one and a 7-1/2 inch one. I can do this. Squares are easy - right. So I get out the Roy Rogers fabric and the denim look fabric and start cutting.

No design wall so it is laying on the floor in the dining room - note a design wall is a requirement for the studio. I did get all of the four patch squares sewn. Loving this so much.

The bright red star is not a part of the quilt. It is a die cut star that I will use to lay out the star quilting lines on the larger squares. The smaller ones will be simple quilted slightly in from the seam all the way around. I have some wonderful red and cream gingham check for the border and I will use a panel of the Roy Rogers, red gingham and the blue to do a large piecing for the backing.

So what do you guys think about it - I used something off the list above (the magazine) and tomorrow begins the use what I have summer. Do I have anyone else joining me for the summer??

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Boy - that was quick

Thank you all for the kind words yesterday about the shelf. I am really pleased with how it turned out and I cannot wait to see the studio as it is finished. We are trying so hard to not overspend on this project so I am really studying what I want (need).

Miss Molly - seems like yesterday they handed us that squirming little one and sent us home. Now she is all growed up and driving, and NOT working this summer. She was going to get a part-time job, but we looked at the sports schedule for she and Abby and realized we needed a driver - almost full time. So she's the driver and the maid. For those services, Dad and I buy gas and give spending money. She gets to chill between things. Abby is not embarassed by her sister dropping her off. The house is somewhat clean. Everybody is happy with the arrangement.

But she also gets a few special priviledges. On Monday night she said she wanted a crochet beanie hat. (see post from yesterday) I worked on this on Monday night and finished it last night. She was "tickled pink" with this. I modified the pattern from the Lion Brand yarn site. When I followed it exactly it was too small. But it is practically an instant gratification project. She was more than excited to model it last night too. Made from thrifted wool-ease yarn.

I worked on it last night at the softball game. We have several new team members - a situation that will remain undiscussed - and the new mommies were a little surprised by the site of me crocheting. The seasoned moms from our team were quick to point out that I will be working on something all the time. I hope to finish the embroidery part of my MAY CIP project this weekend - so I can post it on Monday. I can see that I will be making some adjustments to my list for the year.

Look behind Molly on the wall. The shelf over the computer is an old wooden drink crate. The one thing about my home is that so many items are used in unlikely ways. I really enjoy repurposing items. I also enjoy the recycling feeling of thrifting and scrounging through warehouses of end lots or discontinued items. Seems like I am doing a small part for the environment.

Weight loss - not a d*(& pound. I am drinking water and eating better and exercising. I feel better - clothes fit better - but scales don't reflect any loss.

Have you guys seen the Ciel d'orage blog? I found this link and I am in love. Follow this for eyecandy. The French have the most wonderful appreciation for beauty in everything. Be sure and follow the links on her sidebar for more treats. I have been reaquainting myself with my high school french - I really need to find my old dictionary in order to get all of it, but even if you can't read it the pictures are worth all of it. I can see some red cross stitch on natural linen in my very near future just because of this blog.

I have so many ideas floating around in my head. I am continually inspired by what I read, see, hear. I try to capture these inspirations in my notebooks and then share some of them with you guys here. I will continue to do that and see where it leads. I do know that right now I am not fighting demons and I am improving my work continually. I am in a good place creatively and that feels wonderful.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A really long weekend

It was a really long weekend. There was food, rest and work. Lots of accomplishments. Lots of fun - we even squeezed in some shopping yesterday. Friday night - not too much going on. Up early Saturday morning. Breakfast, coffee on the sofa, work in the barn - the only bad thing about the stage we are at - it is all stuff you cannot see real progress on. Cut grass - de-dandelion the driveway - weed eat. Play with the baby kitties.

Sunday - church - nap - ball. Monday - sew - crochet - craft - work on the barn some more - shop. I have rested. I ate too much that was really not good for me. But it was a good weekend.

Several postings ago I mentioned a shot glass shelf I bought at the thrift store for 1.50. I had not touched it since, but decided to work on it Saturday. I brought it to the kitchen porch and deconstructed several shelves in order to make it work size wise for my stamps. It is a big shelf and it going to work beautifully for what I plan. I brushed it off and got it ready for paint.

Here it is after I took the shelves out. (Yes the truck is filthy.) I plan to put my stamps, inks, embossing powders, and glitter on this . It will hang on the back wall of the studio over a little bench that I have for gift wrap. I'll see how all this really goes together soon I hope, but that is where it is in my mind right now.

Then I recruited Miss Abby to help me paint it black. Just plain old acrylic craft paint. (Note - spray paint may have been a better choice especially for those tight shelves, but I am using what I have so I used the black from my stash) We left it in the sun to dry - that is a beautiful plus to acrylic - it dries fast and by then Miss Molly had joined us. I mixed white glue and water for the next step and left the girls to it while I handed things up the ladder to Dad in the barn. They cut an old postage stamp price guide up and covered the back of the shelf with those layered pages. Just how much fun is this.

A close up view of the shelf. Leaned against the piano and holding just a few items to see if I had made good size decisions. I am loving this. Right now all of my stamps and stuff are in boxes that I have to dig through. This is perfect for the purpose. I used what I had but even so - let's total this project up.

Old Book - Thrifted $1.00
Shelf - Thrifted $1.50
Black Paint - from stash but $1.39 originally
Glue-dollar store - $1.00
Child labor - free

TOTAL FOR A WORKABLE STAMP AND STUFF STORAGE SHELF $4.89 us dollars. I am good with it.

I also got this wonderful surprise on Saturday - from Miss Jenny. It is my mounted ATC from Vallen's swap. Too cool. I sent her the quiltlet and she sent this. It is hanging on my china cabinet door and I absolutely love it. I won't be moving this to the studio - it will more than likely hang right here for a while. Thank you so much Jenny. I adore the black offset with the touches of color. WONDERFUL.

It was very productive on the sewing and crocheting front as well. I am almost finished with the fabric challenge for MaryAnn. I finished 2 washcloths for Raesha. And Molly has asked me to make her a crocheted beanie hat. So at 11:00 last night we downloaded a free pattern and I started a hat from some scrap yarn just to work out size and gauge. Once we get that right - I will be making her a hat and I will frog this one. A little strange for a summer project - but alas.


I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm Alright - Don't Nobody Worry About Me

Everybody sing along. Yesterday's visit was fairly uneventful. The cyst that has filled back in does not pose a threat at all - watch it and see if it gets any bigger. The boob smasher test will still have to be read by a radiologist and the report generated, but nothing looked any different. Remember after looking at years of my own films, I do a pretty good job of reading them myself. I am a candidate for a convenience procedure called NovaSure - whch will eliminate certain monthly occurances. But it will be only as I determine. I have all of the literature to make that decision and will study it carefully. The hormones are being changed slightly to lessen the weight issues. And yes I do need to lose a lot of weight. 40+ pounds.
Blood Pressure - okay
Cholesterol - wonderful
Mental Health at 4:45 pm yesterday - so much better.

I went to Curves last night. Met a wonderful lady who makes soy candles and lives near me. We will more than likely be on a very similar workout schedule. That will help me be more accountable to go. I drank the entire 64 ounces of pure water yesterday that has been suggested and got up to pee three times during the night.

So now in addition to the boring life you all read about here - you will be subjected to the trials of weight loss and exercise and eating healthy. For dinner last night - black bean soup and rice - with green salsa and a little cheese. It was very filling and I did not wake up starving this morning. To use a phrase form my best friend. WE"LL SEE.

There is still crafty news. I finished the first project from MaryAnn's Fabric Challenge. And started the second one. There will be at least two other creations from this fabric. The picture below is a sneak peek of these works in progress. (MaryAnn you can peek - it doesn't give too much away.) This should also show that I am using every scrap of this fabric. I was inspired by RaggedRoses corsages. It was a little fiddley and tedious but I can see keeping my scraps for this purpose and putting them together at ball games etc. The first ones are always experimental - There are things I will do differently on the next ones.

There is also a view of the "trays" I use to assemble projects. This is just the top of a box that was handy to toss scraps into as I trimmed them off. I mix trims and thread ends and other snippets as I sew. Some of it gets tossed as I clean up, but not everything - just look. It really is kind of sick to keep things this small.

All in all I am having a wonderful day. The Curves near me closes early today, but I may get a quick circuit done before they close. Hope so. As someone said yesterday to me --- Part of the discipline is going when you really don't want to. The reward is knowing that you did. That same person told me I don't eat very healthy. Me - being the slightly stubborn and competitive person that I am - will determine how to eat and lose this weight. So I hope you aren't too bored with this. There will be recipes included.

Have a wonderful weekeend.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Calm amongst the chaos

This is a terrifying picture to all of you Type "A" people, I am sure. Floss and yarn and papers piled in this box. This is the epitome of my life. Chaos - looks uncontrolled doesn't it? As my neice Laura describes, I am the artsy type. This box is full of fun to me. It actually is the result of the cleaning and organizing that is taking place in MaggieGrace world.

I save stuff. Lot's of stuff. (My mom and sister do too.) If you click on the picture you will see order among this chaos. Floss is wrapped around bobbins or looped through labeled cardboard. Remnants of past projects. Bags of floss have been pulled from this box and that, then tossed in here. Some is old - vintage shall we say. The box also contains some of Charles Grandmother's floss and the clear - hard plastic box was hers. Underneath is the ultimate score for a bargain shopper - floss organized by color (I did that) purchased at an outlet for 25 cents/bag. They are cut floss from needlework kits that went unused. This is the box I go to for fun projects, those with no charted color or colors I am choosing to change. As I have cleaned, the stuff from everywhere is becoming more centrally located - the floss and threads are no different. Mind you - I have a fully bobbined, labeled and sorted box of the DMC colors. And those charted patterns come from there. This box is the one I dig through for my designs. GO ahead - click on the picture - bet you find something you like.

This picture on the other hand is calm and complete and reflects what I consider to be one of my better moments of inspiration. This is the dining room window. I am not traditional in my choices and my window treatments are no exception. This room is adjacent to the living room and there are 3 windows to cover. Three crochet tablecloths from a discount store - three plate racks from Tuesday Morning. Soft and pretty against the chocolate milk walls. The plate racks give me a place for display and the metal picture hanging down was a dollar store purchase - Three different ones for 9.00 total. This is just a fun reflection of my personality - some people would say I am a little strange. Note - the rest of this room looks like the box in the picture above.

We have a friend and I swear there is not one place in her house that looks like the box. She doesn't even have a junk drawer. She has a cleaning schedule and there are chores on it that I would not dream of doing on a regular basis. Things like - wash the baseboards (once a month) and clean the top of the fridge (every week) She even plans a purge day for tossing outdated canned goods and medications. We love her. She is brilliant and funny and beautiful and loving and kind and non judgemental and a wonderful picture of marriage for young couples- I love going to her clean and organized house. I could never function in her world for long. She doesn't understand my world at all - but she loves me. And she buys the things I make as gifts, because she appreciates that the care given a handcrafted item is worthy of support. She is the calm among the chaos in her world. Those creations are the calm in mine.

I have a project in my purse for the doctors office today. Someone will ask what I am making. Unlike reading - which isolates you in that environment - creating seems to invite conversation. A distraction from the fact that I am about to be poked and prodded and have certain parts of my anatomy mashed flat. I like that. I like meeting others and will gladly share my brief time with them. They may be like Jean - my world may not make any sense at all to them - but for those few minutes we have something to talk about. You never know how one of those conversations may impact a person - or yourself.

That is actually how I forged the relationship with my now best friend. We worked in the same building and as I was leaving one day, I popped my head in his office to say goodbye. He seems to need to talk about something and I sat down and listened. Seems like all I said was "Are you okay?" I took the time to listen. He has taken the time to do the same. I have taken the time to talk. He has done the same. We also know will get on each others a*% for stupidity and try to keep our mouth shut when needed. Do that for some one - you will be blessed.

The man at my address probably doesn't even remember that I have this appointment today. I don't discuss the stress of it with the girls - they both would worry - but if something major is happening I will tell them. Does this bother me? Nope - I have been through most of my life's stressful situations alone. He is quiet and introverted and not really comfortable in this type of situation - Mom (that's me) handles the hard stuff. (His Mom handles the hard stuff too) I have no anger or disappointment about it at all. I am strong and capable and I have learned that there is very little that I cannot do. When my Mom had her stroke - my sister's family and I handled it. I stayed with Charles grandparents when they were sick. Many nights I went to the hospital to stay with my Nanny when she was dying - after I worked and then did Mommy stuff. As a result, I am not really comfortable leaning on anyone. (I am learning to do this more as I get older) I tend to be more than a little stubborn and self sufficient.

There you have a complete random post. Chaotic. But with an air of calm and acceptance around it. Even with the fear demon trying to push itself forward, I am in a good place. I have no anger this morning, really not a even lot of fear either. Stress - yes - fear - not really. 10 years ago the news took away the luxury of this being just another doctor visit - never again - but look how much I have gained since then. The CANCER word has given me a respect and appreciation of so much. I am truly a very blessed person. I can accept others for where they are and what they are capable of bringing to my life. I can choose to have a positive impact on theirs. I can face the walls and other obstacles know that I have a choice in dealing with them. I can celebrate even the smallest detail in life. I appreciate what others do for me. I respect that not everyone will like me or want to be in my company. Again I say - I am a very blessed person.

I hope you all will have a fantastic day. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Work in Progress

All right now. These are my latest creation. Simple. Quick. USING THINGS I HAVE. What are they??? Gift enclosure cards. Small folded cards to toss in a gift box or bag. I have purchased in the past way too many of the "scrap packs" of paper at the dollar store. (anybody else guilty?) then I use one or two peices of the paper and toss the rest in a box.

Well I needed something to include in some packages I am preparing. I decided to do some of these. Kinda sorta an assembly line type of approach, but not really. I did fold all sorts of these and separate them into packs of 6 assorted colors. Then I chopped up pages from a vintage book and proceeded to stamp them with initials. I have them sorted into a kit form - all stacked on one of my working "trays" and as time allows I will assemble them and complete them. Each set will be slightly different in the finishing. Some stamped. Some collaged. Some simply embellished.

About the stamps - they are from a set I found in an old office building we worked in. Way back in the closet not being used. The boss said take them home. I love these and have used them over and over. Add to it they are eye candy too. Stacked in that clear plastic box. There is a full set of the letters and I also have a set of numbers and punctuation marks too. Gotta love a freebie this cool.

Thanks so much for the comments from yesterday. I found a new blog buddy from those comments. Love it when that happens.

I also have almost completed all of the Fabric Challenge projects from MaryAnn's blog. When she sent my fabric, it came with the instructions to take my time, and so I have. However, now it is time to get her fabric on out of the house. I have to redo the committment list again to see where I am on things. I really can't wait to have the big board in the studio for this. I found a huge picture frame at a yard sale and I plan to staple wire mesh to it and attach those tiny binder clips to it. Then I can hang my lists and notes in a form that can be rearranged.

Now for reality news. I am fat. Shopping for a swimsuit several weeks back confirmed it and I am offcially attempting to lose this extra weight. Why blurt that here? Somehow, it makes me more accountable to share this with the cyber world. I have walked for years and still the weight creeps up. I think it may be the medication I take for the breast cancer risk. So at tomorrows doctor's appointment, we will discuss either stopping that or changing it and doing some other things as well. I also have the dreaded mammogram too. There are several reasons for this really hard discussion with the doctor. I am 10 years to the good on the cancer thing. Weight and blood pressure are creeping up (both listed side effects of the medication) My mom just had a stroke and the medication increases this risk for me too. I know there is a cyst in the same breast where I had surgery before - I have had this one aspirated twice and it continues to return. Another hard part will be the discussion of leaving it again or having it removed. All in all a stressful office visit - riddled with decisions. In my rational brain - I know the mammogram will be fine but the irrational part of me sure is struggling - and I will until I get through it and see the images. ( I can read them myself by now)

I hope all of you are having a wonderful day. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Envy - one of the seven deadly sins isn't it. I have issues with it myself. Not all the time. But occasionally. I envy the time others seem to have. I envy the seemingly perfect family lives others may have. I envy those who still have their fathers. I envy that young woman who seems to be able to eat anything she wants to and still stay thin. I envy the lady at church who knits beautifully. As hard as I try too, sometimes I just cannot keep this green monster from creeping into my life.

Then I sit back and really ponder - my best friend does this too - he even has a certain position he sits in that I call the "ponder pose". Leaned back in his chair hands together. I can always tell when he is pondering. Personally - I "zone" - I am physically there, but not mentally. In that mode, I think hard. The time others have - what they do with it is their choice. That perfect family life - maybe they are really having a hard time with a teen - but don't feel like they can share it. Yes - my dad is gone - but I have wonderful memories of him and no one can take those away. That young thin woman - chooses more carefully than I do - what she eats and does. Beth knits - but she took the time to take lessons and I have not done that. So -I really have nothing to be envious of.

But the title of this post has absolutely nothing to do with envy. It is about yarn - thrifted yarn. Three huge leaf and lawn bags full for $12.00 from our new Goodwill store. And while part of it is wonderful, I was not really all that thrilled with some green cotton yarn. Oh the yarn is a dream to work with, and crochets up beautifully, it just this really bright (obnoxious) green. Kind of like some drunks I know. It screams. It is flambouyant. Out there. Green.

I chose to use it for some of those spa type wash cloths. Guess what, they are fabulous. I made one and gave it to Abby to try. She loves it. Wants some for her friends. This is just the kind of project to stick in my purse to have with me all the time. I have plenty of the yarn and I will make these cloths as far as the yarn goes. A super easy pattern - Chain 30. Single crochet across - chain 1 and turn and single crochet across until it is square - Mine are 24 rows. Mindless - not distracting - something to work on while I ponder. I feel good about using thrifted yarn, because it is more "green" for the environment. It is also cotton - a readily renewable resource.

No it is not a use what I have project, but at 12.00 - I just could not walk away from the pile. There are probably 30 full skeins of yarn and tons of partials. I can see that crochet is going to be my current obsession.

I will say - this will be my last supply purchase for a while. I am recommitting to USE WHAT I HAVE for the summer months - JUNE - JULY - AUGUST. Do I have any takers along with me?

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

A look at that green - this is taken on the front seat of the car this morning. One completed cloth and the beginning of another.

Monday, May 21, 2007

No peeking Jenny

Jenny - don't look all the way to the bottom if you don't want the surprise spoiled.

This actually is one of my favorite projects ever. I am loving the color combination and embellishments. I hung it on my bedroom door last night for the pictures and it could live so happily there. I am so sorry it is late going to Jenny. Life attacked and I am sending my groveling apologies on this. There are other goodies with it too. Hopefully she will take these as a peace offering.

Now for particulars. Foundation pieced on a square of high count sheeting. (From my Nanny's stash) using an assemblage of fabric scraps. The buttons are a combination of vintage and new. I love the 4 small ones across the top. Right at the midpoint on the right side is a tiny piece of sheer embroidered trim over a scrap of pink gingham.

The ATC has 3 open hearts couched down onto a piece of vintage lace curtain fabric (yard sale find 4 yards for 2.00) and ribbons in the corners. It mounts by tying to the mother of pearl buttons around the center. It is backed and bound with a new fabric that anchors and frames this beautifully. It is hand quilted using a multihued dyed floss. YUM!.

After I finished it, I decided to hang it banner style and used a piece of wire. I added tiny wooden spools on the end of the wire and wrapped them with more of the floss. It is hanging from more of the matching ribbon. While this was not a quick project, it was very simple and I am so very happy with the finished results.

All together now -- I used what I had -- either stuff I had gathered in the past or things people gave me.

I only have one more swap that I have to complete and it is MaryAnn's fabric challenge. I have some of it finished and more to come. I am happy with the outcome on this one too. Then I will spend some time on CIP items and two baby quilts I have planned.

Let me know what you think of this project. Despite the fact that a lot of my stuff in the past has been dark, I do believe this work is one if the truest reflections of me. I am discovering that it is okay to be strong and still be feminine. I think this piece reflects a variety and a strength that I have found in me, while still being soft and pretty. I mostly hope that Jenny is happy with it.

I bought the new Mary Englebreit magazine this weekend and Hillary (wee wonderfuls) has her robot soft toy featured. There are several magazines lately showcasing work and homes of various people I am familiar with through this medium. I love that angle so much. Also Victoria Magazine is returning in October - I am so excited about this - it was always one of my favorites too.

I sure am having a great Monday so far. Remember to tell someone that you love them today. Have a wonderful day yourself.

Friday, May 18, 2007

friday - WIP

I am loving how this is going. I will start by apologizing to Jenny because this is late. But I regrouped. I hope she will accept my apologies in advance.
I adore the colors and the concept here. I will post a completed photo once Jenny has received it.
Scraps of fabric and ribbon and a mixture of vintage and new buttons. Some lace trim. Some vintage lace. As my Mom would say "a dukes mixture". All from my "stash". Fun stuff. The most fun was pouring a jar of buttons out on a tray and trying them for placement on this.
It has been a tough week. Internal conflict on the ball team. The last week of school. Meeting after meeting at school and at work. I am tired and cranky and I made a huge mistake about a jobsite this morning. (Sent driver to the wrong address) So today is going to be a struggle. And in the back of my brain, the fear sits. I go back to the doctor next week for annual physical and mammogram. I don't care how far away from the "C" word I get, the fear creeps back in. I tell people that its okay and it really is, but that old demon resumes its relentless torture on my brain at this point.
The girls have a summer workout schedule that is ungodly, and gas is over 3.00 a gallon here. Molly and I will spend some weekends travelling to look at campuses, so those extra expenses for gas/hotel will have a huge impact on the budget. The academic scholarship information is starting to come, so maybe someone will help us pay for school. It is scary to think about my baby going away to college but this time next year, that's what we will be planning.
I will be at home a fair amount this weekend, so maybe I can do some additional housecleaning and organizing. It is so deperately needed.
Gratitudes for today.
1. I love my new haircut.
2. I am almost caught up on swaps.
3. Molly is number 2 in the junior class.
4. I love the colors in this WIP.
5. I scored BIG at the thrift store this week.
6. I start back to the gym next Tuesday night. I really need to do something different as my weight loss has completely stopped and I still have lots to lose.
I do hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

may 15 mosaic

may 15 mosaic
Originally uploaded by maggiegracecreates.
more goodies from flickr. I am amazed everyday with the inspiration there. right now I am lookin ghtrough the Pretty Organized pool. for ideas in the studio.

Hope you guys are having a wonderful day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Let's play - tag.

Not like the meme's, although you can play along with some of this.
Childhood games. We played 1-2-3 redlight, simon says, four square, drop the handkerchief, hide and go seek, tag, ghosts in the graveyard - those are the ones that come to mind this morning. I also add london bridge, here we go round the mulberry bush, and ring around the rosies. We did those crazy hand games too - say say my playmate. And jump rope. My baby sister and I spent hours on the trampoline. We waded in the creek. We giggled and ran and jumped and spent hours in the great outdoors.
As adults, too many of us are so inhibited. We don't laugh freely. We don't giggle often. We are afraid that some may be watching, making a judgement about us. When is the last time you laughed at yourself - really laughed hard because you were just funny. Can you name something that triggers the giggles in you every time? I can. Can you remember the last time you laughed just because life was FUN? I can. Do you have it in you to PLAY? I do.
Now my play is in the creative world most of the time. But i still take the hand of a toddler and play London Bridge occasionally. Tracey and I break into song - fairly often - bad song - sung poorly - causes those around us to roll their eyes - and we all laugh. I can choose a moment to snort and she will have to leave the room to regain her composure. When is last time you did the "singing in the rain" stupid body contortion song?
You are all challenged to play today? To laugh hard? To make another person laugh or smile? Remember - they may not understand or remember how to laugh or play. You may have to remind yourself and others what this is about. I have already accomplished this myself today. It was fun and it was funny. Try it - see if you really remember how to play.
About the tags in the picture.
I made these for Raesha's tag swap. They went into the mail today. Fairly large office supply tags. I always have this little catch in my throat about things I swap. I am always afraid that mine won't compare to the others. I do like these and I had a great time making them. I covered the entire tag with a vintage patterned tissue paper. Looks like victorian scrap art materials . really soft and pretty. Then I stamped some vintage book pages with the keys and the phrase "treasure the moment" - added gold embossing powder and embossed these. I tore the edges around the stamp and glued them to the tags. added lace and pearl beads. Then I looked at them and decided they needed some thing else. punch tiny holes and added the flowers - simply attached with brads. Then some velvet scraps for the hanger. (I save everything - even 1/4 inch wide velvet scraps.) These tags are most definitley feminine. Love these. I sure hope the recipients of these enjoy them. I made an extra and used it on a small gift bag for Raesha - I always like to send a hostess gift. My Love - I hope you can use some of the goodies in the bag.
Oh and by the way - I did use what I had.
Play today everyone - don't worry - the first time it's a little stressful, but you will get the hang of it.
Have a wonderful day.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Time Waster Ahead - Eye Candy

This is not my baby. But for some more "SERIOUS!!!!" photographic eye candy goto

I can't get the link to the direct page to work. dig through and look at the label photograph gallery. You can actually submit your photo to be considered for the labels. Too cool. Take some time and cruise over.

Have a wonderful afternoon.

Productivity (and goodies)

I had a fabulous weekend. I am rested and relaxed. I spent evenings in front of a fire - gas logs and air conditioning -great inventions. I ate steamed shrimp and a wonderful layered salad - add oven roasted potatoes and a few glasses of wine. Like heaven. See I am focused on the blessings of an away work weekend. I crocheted and finished Baby Luke's blanket. I finished some cross-stitch lettering for a couple of swaps/challenges I am playing in. So it was a great weekend.

Baby Lukes's blanket does not look like a baby blanket. But the colors work with his nursery. The outside border looks black, but it is dark brown. All of the yarn for this project came from his great-grandmother's things. She passed away right after they found out about this baby coming and when they cleaned out the house, Luke's mom brought two copier boxes of mixed yarns to me. These were all in there. All acrylic, but that works for a baby blanket. The blue is called Dazzelaire and it is thick and soft. The cream is by Caron (called Simply Soft) and for an acrylic yarn it is a dream to work with, so I will use more of this in the future. There is no pattern for this blanket. Six granny squares in the middle and then crochet around until I ran out of yarn. I cannot wait to give this to Stephanie on Wednesday night.

I also had a package waiting when I got home. Goodies from AmyElise designs. This was so much fun to open. And I put some of it into immediate use on my tags for Raesha's swaps. The little purple funny shaped paper, folds up into a tiny envelope. I plan to copy that shape and make some of these from recycled magazine pages. (thanks so much Amy, this was a wonderful surprise to come home to.)

This is the last week of school. Then the summer from H*&$ starts. Both girls are going to have a lot of summer workout stuff for sports. Molly wanted to get a part time job this summer, but she will be driving Abby and herself to workouts.

I have several things going on the craft front. I have lots going on in the studio. I have way too much on my plate - still. I have to work and I have to play. I have to be mommy. The house requires my attention. Finishing the studio will have a huge impact on that - my stuff is everywhere. But I will say, that I have a much better perspective on things since I got some rest and some quiet. Even through a work weekend, Mom took care of herself. I am eating better. I am exercising more diligently. I feel so much better. I am about to have a conversation with my doctor about the hormones I am taking. Right now I am in a very good place. I have come through a bit of a blue (overwhelmed - not depressed) period and now I am ready to run again.

My Mom is doing much better and no longer requires an enormous amount of my attention. She is piecing quilts - oh my such inspiration. I really would like to focus next year on hand quilting a couple for her. She hates to hand quilt, but loves to piece. What would really be nice is a long arm machine for her, but it is so expensive and I enjoy the hand quilting - so maybe I can do some of that for her.

As always, I hope you have a wonderful day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

This is what I want to be doing on Sunday morning. Is this not absolutely stunning. Image from Dover in this weeks free samples of copyright free art. Feel free to click and print this image for your use.
Another image from the same sampler. I can see this inspiring some kind of artwork for me. Mirror mirror on the wall kind of thing.

I hope all of you moms have a great day on Sunday. If you have a mom/grandmother, give her my well wishes. If you have lost that special someone, I lift you up with my prayers.

Other random Friday thoughts/blessings

Amy Elise has sent me a package. Thank you my sweet CIP friend. I will open it on Sunday as I am leaving from work to go out of town today. I cannot wait to see it.

Is anyone still out there? It has been strangely quiet in the blogosphere. Both posts and comments.

Odd gifts abound at my house. For Christmas I got plywood. For Valentines - it was insulation. Mother's Day - New tires for the car. All very neeeded and welcomed as gifts. Thank you my crew for understanding that. I love being your mommy, Molly and Abby.

I can read and write. I was up late last night reading a book my mom sent home with me. She tried to warn me to be careful about what time of day I started it. She thought it was one of those that can draw you in and keep you. She was right - I read until 2am. I would have LOTS more disposable income if she had not sent me to school and allowed me to learn to read.

I am also easily amused and I live in redneck rural north ga. Yesterday on the way to work I followed a beat-up older pickup truck that the owner is trying to sell. How do I know this? - The sign across the back window - written in window chalk - in big letters = FOR CELL. ( I wonder if text messaging is unlimited) You cannot make up stuff that funny.

I do hope that I will have time to accomplish some creating this weekend. I will have some evening time and maybe that will occur. Until monday.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Remembering ... Ryen King

Ryen King - the stepson of a childhood friend of mine. 19 Years old. His Dad is the softball coach and a teacher in the high school I graduated from. Joined the army fresh out of high school. Deployed to Iraq. Came home in January and - spent time with family and friends - snow skiied with his girlfriend. Went back and instead of coming home as scheduled, his time there was extended. A suicide bomber drove a truck into the building he was in and on April 21, 2007, Ryen King was killed in combat in Iraq.
I give you no rankings on Ryen - see that doesn't matter. As far as I am concerned, he was Ryen. He was willingly serving this country of mine. He was excited about joining the army and having the structure of the military environment. He was a role model for his siblings and his friends. The Iraqi children loved him. One of those people you enjoyed being around.
While we were readying for the prom on Saturday, Ryen was being laid to rest in a grave adjacent to my Dad's grave. I stopped yesterday and paid my respects. I bumped into his mother and I had no words. What do you say when a mother buries a child? It does not matter whether you agree with this conflict. It does not matter who's war this is. None of the politics matter. A young man, serving his country, has died in that act. I respect him. I respect what he stood for. I honor his memory. I pray for the others. In my thinking - Jerry Ryen King - died a hero. Did I say that to his Mom - no - I cried. I was one mother mourning the loss of another mother's child.
His Mom gave me a website to read about her son. This quote was published in the article. It was written shortly after his visit home in January.
There is a lot of down time at the patrol base and it's impossible not to think of home. Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I had gone straight to college like nearly everyone else. Honestly, I think the Army was the best decision for me, even though it sucks not being home to protect or give advice to my little sisters like an older brother should, or being able to kiss or even tell the girl that has done nothing but support and encourage me to be all that I can be "good night and that I love her". Even missing the small things like breakfast with my grandmother are hard. I can't wait until all that I have to worry about is making a 10:10 class....
There are many more children in our miltary. They are brothers and sisters. They are mothers and fathers. They are friends and lovers. They are the members of our armed forces. If you see them, tell them you support them. If you see their family or friends, tell them how proud you are of them. You do not have to support the politics in order to support the people affected. By all means, if you have a faith base, pray for them, pray regularly, pray diligently, pray.
Ryen recognized that the small details are some of the most important. If you are a regular reader, you know that is my philosophy as well. I challenge you to really focus on what you are doing today. Be fully in the moment. Pay attention to the smallest detail. Celebrate the day. You are not guaranteed tomorrow. Live today with that knowledge. I try to do this everyday. If you do this, you will find that your perspective on irritations will change. Remember - Focus - Celebrate - Forgive.
(the flag in the photo above was painted on recycled tin by a friend of mine, Liz Lampe. It hangs outside the barn that is becoming MaggieGrace Studio. I proudly say I am an American and I also proclaim one nation under God.)
Have a beautiful day. Hug someone you love. Tell someone they are beautiful. Laugh out loud. Celebrate something - no matter how small.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I have been so slack on thank yous.

When I got home yesterday, I found this on the counter. This is a rare occurance. Not the fact that there was a package, just that it was still sealed. My monsters know the people I share with regularly, and will open a package from MaryAnn or Vallen and call me and let me know what goodies await. This one was different. They were waiting for me because they did not recognize the return name and address. It was from Ann-Margaret and it was so pretty.

A cigar box. Fabulous graphics outside and in. Oh my, this is beautiful. A card that says "just because" -- all tied up in a pretty ribbon. Now the box would have been perfect all alone. I have a "thing" for boxes. And if you look closely, you will see an old sticker. What you can't see it that it says "capacitors (non polarized)" -- now this may mean nothing to you, but I went to college for electronics engineering technology and I worked in test and troubleshooting for industrial power supplies. I wrote manuals for assembly and test and installation/operation of power supplies to cable tv. I smiled when I saw this because I knew what a capacitor was. A fun reminder of my college days.

Goodies inside the box. ALL stuff I will use and the box will be used as well. Thank you so much.

Thank you also goes to a new blog buddy for me. Innocent Charms sent a really fun bracelet to me. Jen has sent stuff and it is my understanding that I have a package at the post office that will be requiring my signature (Molly) will pick it up Saturday morning.

There are not always pictures, but there are ALWAYS squeals of joy and exclamations of look at this. I am so appreciative of everything people do for me. I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you - thank you - thank you.

UPDATES : MaryAnn - I should be finishing up your fabric challenge this weekend or early next week. This has been so much fun for me. I have tried to be a little outside the expected on this one - so far I like what I have done. But no sneak peeks on this. Raesha - the tags for your swap will be mailed early next week. Vallen - I am still working on the mounted ATC for my swap partner. For all of you CIP girls, a package will probably go in the mail next week too. So - I am still busy, but I actually prefer to have something to do.

I do hope you all are having a wonderful day. I am.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Peeks and Plans

If you could see my house right now, you would run - screaming- from the neighborhood. The living room and dining room are one huge room and since the studio is not finished, the dining room is craft and storage central. Molly is creating scrapbook pages. Abby's ball equipment is spread everywhere. Add my creative endeavors and then a thrifting run and a fabric outlet run. Crap is stacked everywhere. And we are not at home enough to spend quality dust bunny control time on it. Scary stuff.

So what is a creative soul to do when the workspace gets completely out of control. Move to another room --- right!!!! Both of these projects are on the kitchen counter. I don't cook much so why not. Last night I worked on my tags for Raesha's tag swap I am in. Stamps and embossing and tissue paper and glue. Another intense night of creation - a little Sizzix work and they will be complete and ready to send. As I worked on those, I noticed that I had run away from the dining room already this week.

The fabrics above are on the island. A Kaufman "Happy Trails" novelty print - love this fabric and the blue cotton that was my sole reason for the trip to the fabric warehouse. This is the reminder stack for a "cowboy" baby quilt. I am desperately trying to not start it, because I am so excited about it and I know it will take over and be the only thing I work on and there are other things I need to finish.

One of those things is sneak peeked here. I don't think the recipient is a regular reader, but just in case she happens by, I do not want to give it all away. Now take a look at these two pictures and tell me, do these things happen by accident. Blues and browns - I did not even realize I was leaning toward this in my work right now, but there you have it. Another WIP is for the Christmas in Progress list - and it has these colors too.
About color - I am leaning heavily on the truck tarp tan for the studio walls. Soft and neutral - it will play well with so much of my stuff. Now if I could just get that man to wire the building so we can finish the walls - any cajoling ideas folks???
I am getting ready to be out of town this weekend. Hopefully I will get some crafting time in too. We'll see.
I do hope you all have a fantastically beautiful day.

Monday, May 07, 2007

No One Turned into a pumpkin

Preparations begin early in the day. At the time this photo was taken, Dad had already earned some gold stars. The nail tech called me 30 minutes before Molly's appointment and they were on the way to the emergency room with a sick child. I was another state away, so Dad had to step out of his comfort zone and find a new nail salon for the missy. They did and her nails are beautiful. The complicated part of nails for Molly, she has a scarred nail from an injury and it can easily become infected so we have to be very careful about who works on her nails. Finding someone in our area who speaks and really understands English is difficult. But they did.

Then off to hair. 2 hours in the salon chair. Remember too, this is the south and after weeks of no rain, it has rained for two days. An entire can of hairspray. Even with that, these ringlets were wilting by the end of the photo session.

Took off to the Unversity of Georgia campus for pictures. We were quite the attention grabbers. Walking downtown, through the Human Rights Festival in their very formal attire. This photo was taken just to the right of the arch on Broad Street. With all the cameras we had with us, there are about 700 frames to pick from.

Molly went with 3 friends. Left to right - Zack, Brittany, Brittany, Molly. From here they went to dinner, seems some lovely older ladies asked them to stand and model their dresses at the restaurant. Zack was thrilled to be surrounded by beautiful girls. Prom, then a late night movie - Spiderman 3. They got home at 3am.

Mom was up until little missy called and let us know she was at the Ellisor's safely.

Seems like yesterday, they handed me this tiny creature. I still remember being terrified about taking her home. I had absolutely no idea how to be her mom. I wanted to beg to stay at the hospital, please. But they hand you that little one and send you off. And you do the best you can. And every day, thousands of decisions, hopefully the right ones. And you teach, by word, by example. And you love, and forgive, and trust. It's scary. It's rewarding. It's the most difficult job you will ever have and the pay scale really sucks. You must understand - it is the benefits package that make this job worthwhile. Look at the smiles, listen to the words dance through your heart, remember the scent of their skin, wipe the tears, celebrate the victories, comfort through the failures, and know that "this is my Mom" is all the recognition you need.

I did squeeze in some MaggieGrace work this weekend. I will share that as the week goes on.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Gratitude Friday

My Licorice peeks over the fence like this sometimes. I have absolutely no idea where this laundry bag came from. It hangs in my laundry room as a cover for the hideous electrical panel box. There is some kind of stain (dye) shading on it and it appears to have been done before the embroidery was completed. Look at the towels in the little basket. Martha Stewart collection has very similar ones in the stores right now. I bought several to add monograms and other motifs on.
edited- see the first comment. Ann is my wonderful mother-in-law - Love you Ann - thanks for the information. With everything we have at the house, I simply lost track of where this came from.
Now for the gratitudes - Today is the 4th - so I'll do 4.
1. I don't have that horrid migraine headache today.
2. We got rain last night and more is predicted for today.
3. I was able to surprise my friend Melissa with a caramel cappacino last night. She loves these and she so deserves to be treated occasionally. She's a mom to 3 teenage girls and a special education parapro for the high school program.
4. It's prom weekend. Lot's to do. I cannot wait to see her. Last week was Abby's dance and she was beautiful. This week it's Molly's turn.
I will spend my evening wondering if she is having a good time. I will be holding my breath until I know she is at Melissa's house safely. They are having a late night pool party there. I will be working on the shelf I thrifted earlier this week.
Then on Sunday, it's soccer banquet. Decorate, feed the girls, their families, clean up, then crash. Why is it the last 3 weeks of school seem to be the busiest? We are rushed and harried. Even the girls are setting mile stones. "If I can just get through Tuesday."
Think about Vallen and Claire and all their friends this weekend. Handmade Parade is occuring this weekend. Ladies I sure hope you have great weather, enjoy meeting one another, and have a large crowd of customers. Wish I could be there.
Have a great weekend. Will have pretty pictures on Monday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Baby Cass Blanket

Another finished project. I do love to show you all these kinds of things. Qualifies for Use What I Have too. The Cass family is expecting a baby boy. This is their second baby and they are reusing so many things. But every wee one needs a blankie - right. Again one of the hospital flannel blankets I bought at the warehouse long long ago. Some knit-cro-sheen hanging around in those wonderful bright colors. As well as some bright colored floss from the jumble box.
I printed the words on my computer using the word art setting. Turned it over and traced it with a transfer pencil that irons on and then embroidered with the random bright floss. I used backstitch and 4 strands of the floss. It really was a quick and fairly easy project. I do not like to crochet with these fine cotton threads, but I have several balls of them so I am using them for the edging. And there will be more of these.
Other fun stuff that I have discovered in my stash of late. Ink pads, embossing powders, glitter. Lots of it. I was thrifting one day this week, and found a shot glass shelf. A nice wooden shelf for 1.00 - I also bought an old stamp collectors directory with really thin vellum pages. The plan - glue the pages randomly on the shelf and use this shelf to store all of these little jars of embossing powder and glitter and such. This is the project spread out on the dining room table now. And more than likely I will work on it while Molly is out to prom on Saturday night. We will see how it progresses.
Also starting a baby blanket for the Danuser's baby. This project is kind of special. Mom lost her grandmother recently and the yarn I am using, was in the boxes that she brought me when she cleaned out the house. So there will be a nostalgic tie for this blanket.
Does everyone bubble over with more ideas than time? I have many items in my head often. I look at what others accomplish and wish I could get more done. Then I realize that I can only do what I can. I waste little time. I feel absolutely no guilt about how my time is spent. I will say that if money were no object, I would quit the day job and just create. But money is an issue. And now I create for my sanity and am trying to put together a plan for using my creations as income. I do know what I don't want to do. I don't want to mass produce 100's of little craft fair objects. In doing the ATC indulgence projects I have discovered what I truly love working with and I am leaning hard in that direction. I am at my best working with textiles and fiber. And that is where I shall focus. So you will see more sewing, cross-stitch, quilting, and other needle arts here. (Don't worry - paper is still a fetish - so there will be others invited to the dance.)
I hope every one is having a wonderful day.
I am.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Okay - so I am a little strange

Isn't this a really pretty place. This is the hardware store on the square in my town. Owned by Steve and Carol it is one of those old fashioned places where you can go in with a flimmydicky and ask Steve if he has one. Steve will go into the inner sanctum - listen for the rattles and hums - and produce one. He has seed in old galvanized buckets. Buckets and bins of hardware. Look at the carts, they've been around a long time. To lock up those plants, there are two rickety wire gates. You can count on Steve to remind you what needs to be done in the yard at what time of year. Just look at the display out front. During the tilling season, tillers and other instruments of torture. Plants for now. Pruning devices later. Christmas trees starting mid-November. I don't care who you are - Lowe's and Home Depot will NEVER have this kind of atmosphere. I can send Molly by there to get something and then take a check by and slide it under the door. This store is one of my favorite things about my home town.

I have been officially tagged. OldBagNewTricks (Miss Jenny) tagged me with the weird things meme. Now I have done the weird one before, but because I know I am strange, there is more I can tell you.

1. I visit the grave of baseball great Ty Cobb regularly. Not because I am a huge fan. No he's not a relative. I have absolutely no tie to him other than being from the same hometown, Royston, GA. His grave is really close to my Dad's grave, so anytime I visit my Dad's grave I go by the Cobb grave too.

2. I almost never dry my hair. I go to work with it wet every day. And my hair is so much healthier than it used to be. Now that I am growing it longer, this is even more important.

3. I always sleep with cover over me. It may just be a sheet, but I have to have something over me. In the wintertime, I like a cold room and cover with substantial weight on me.

4. I am ambidextrous(sp??). I know lots of us are, but I know why I am. Things you do as a natural progression, like write and eat, I do left handed. Things you learn to do, like bat, crochet, throw, etc, I do right handed. Anything I have been taught how to do I always do right handed. Because of that, the standard turn type can opener, usually a problem for lefties, is no problem for me.

5. I love a midnight swim in the lake. Most people would not even try this in a southern lake, but I love to take the lantern and set it on the ski platform of the boat and swim in the dark. I took my girls and some of their friends for a swim like this and friends' mom was terrified. (The girls had a blast). But I saw JAWS, so no midnight ocean swim for me.

6. I don't like blood and guts horror movies, but I love the Terminator movies and they are full of gore. I do however, love thriller movies that make you think.

7. I carry a knife and a gun with me most of the time. That may not be weird to some, but most women don't carry a pistol in the car and a pocket knife in their purse. The knife was a gift, and I thought I would have no use for it. Then one afternoon, I witnessed an auto accident and a baby was trapped in the van, upside down with gas running everywhere. I used said knife to cut the carseat straps. The pistol, just be aware, if I ever pull it, I am not afraid to pull the trigger, and I grew up in the country, so I am a pretty good shot. In the building I work at, I know there are at least 6 guns at any one time. I also KNOW that guns don't kill people, people do. I would never choose to harm anyone, but do not threaten me or mine.

So there you go. 7 weird things about me. Now according to the rules, I have to tag 7 people. so I tag.
My neice, Laura
Leslie over at Yarn and Needles
Em - at 10000 beads.
Claire from - Little Lovelies
My new friend from Innocent Charm Chats
Hashi @ Hashi Works
Dawn @ 4:53

I am so looking forward to the pj party from yesterday. All of you ladies rock. Just think how much fun we are gonna have.

Have a beautiful day. Teresa

I do hope you will all participate.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Dance

Warning - photo heavy post - family story follows. Quite possibly boring to everyone but family.
left to right Abby, Katie, Sarah

Garth Brooks' song comes to mind. I would not have missed this dance for anything. I LOVE being Mom. I love both of my girls so much. They are smart and beautiful and funny and joyful and I have learned so much from them. They teach me how to be their Mom every day. I have learned that even when you think there is room for no more, the love and joy in your heart multiplies. Then you see these thing spread across your 13 year old's bed. Those are heels - really cute heels - but heels none the less and that is a sure sign that she is growing up.

And then she puts it all on. The dress fits perfectly. The nails are beautiful. Hair. Make up. Jewelry. The grungy ball player becomes a stunning young lady. She has a social group. We went to Sarah's house to get dressed. They laughed and giggled. They did hair and makeup. Remember - those are your supporters. The ones you can call because your jeans don't fit right. Or because HE chose to golf instead of dinner with you. We are so fortunate. My baby girl is surrounded by those kinds of friends.

When I look at these smiling faces, I can see that the worries of the world are so far away for these girls. We have a mixture of kids in our life. Being from the south, there can often be conflict among the various racial groups. Not these kids. Every one of them looks past skin color and other physical features and finds the true person within. We are blessed with a huge group of friends. Left to right - Renee, Abby, Karlie. Karlie does get to boast of the best "tan" (LOL)and let me tell you this kid and her sister can sing. Renee is our resident entertainer and has a sense of humour that no one can compete with. Renee's Mom is one of my very best friends.

(note - jewelry by Molly)

At the end of the night. Tired feet. Abby went home with Renee. The all night chat begins with a discussion of the evening. They raid the fridge. They laugh. Giggle. Share. They strengthen this bond. Draped across the bed. They try each others shoes. Jewelry. Nothing compares to those kinds of conversations. Late into the night. Often having moments of singing into a hairbrush microphone. Dancing across the bedroom floor. Telling some of those same stories again and again. Girlfriends - doing what they do.

I miss draping across the foot of the bed, listening to the radio. Trying on the clothes in the closet. Leaving that pile around the bed. Shoes willy nilly everywhere. Finding out that that color lipstick is hideous on me. Reading the latest issue of a magazine. Talking about how skinny Linsay Lohan has gotten.

I am guilty of eavesdropping on these activities when the girls have friends over. And I often have that melancholy feeling of missing it. As adults we choose more structured conversations. Meet me at the coffee shop. Let's have lunch. Somehow, that open and fully casual environment of the teenage girls room becomes something else when you marry. I do not know what color some of my best friends bedrooms are. Where they keep their underwear. Does she fully make the bed or just pull the covers up. Those kinds of things. I miss it.

So come on my friends. Join me at my house. We will try on each others clothes. Make up. Jewelry. Let's paint toelnails using towels to protect the bedspread. Facials - I really want to use the pink masque. Let's listen to oldies on CD and sing along with a hairbrush microphone. Lets giggle way into the night. Drink adult beverages from the fridge. Eat chocolate and chips and other foods that have virtually no nutritional value.Have the children yell from down the hall, "it's time to go to sleep." Let's forget about the barriers of being adult and just enjoy the time together.

I think I know where the Waylon Jennings version of "whiter shade of pale" is in my record cabinet. I'll sing first. Shall I use the round brush or the big vented one? What do you want to sing next?

Have a wonderful day. -- Teresa