Friday, August 31, 2007
Then I refused to buy clothes that make me look older. My girls help me to some degree. You know the look - that includes rolled eyes and snarled lips, upturned noses, that indicates "OMG you are not gonna wear that???" I am required to dress appropriately at work. That means no really out there attire. I definitely cannot pull off that June Cleaver vintage Mom look.
I am fighting the idea of being middle aged with a fury. However .... my body is not cooperating.
Senario - I am in my gyn office and he brings up a wonderful idea. We are not having any more children - so the Novasure procedure will offer me the convenience of no more monthly interruptions. I am like "where do I sign up?" Start with a biopsy - mild discomfort is how a doctor describes - "holy S*&* that hurts. Then a sonohysteriogram - not as much discomfort -but cleary more inconvenient for the evening. (all that saline has to come back out) And the results are .... a fibroid tumor larger than 1/2 of a single serving soda. No longer a candidate for the original procedure. No - I will be having the old lady "H" surgery. Yes a hysterectomy is required, which they will do laproscopy style. LOVELY......
So I will be spending some time at home soon - recovering from a major surgery.
Oh well - maybe I will feel well enough to get lots of crafting done. The result - I have pulled out of the fall festival sales booth. I will continue with the list of inventory and maybe sell some here. Right now I have no idea.
Loving this 1 inch origami flower. I picked this up from a tutorial somewhere online. There will be more of these. Take off over here and take a look---- origami flower
Funny story from yesterday - I waited at the dr office for a LOOONNNGG time. There was a young hispanic man there with a small child. The child was fretful and fussy and wanted his madre. When my girls small I used to do string games with them to distract then from the bad attitude, so I made a loop from the thread I was crocheting with and started with the string game distraction. The little boy eventually came closer and played with me - giggling - Now I speak NO spanish at all but this was without barriers. He was intriqued and now happy - daddy could relax and I was having fun. The little boy reached into his pocket and handed me a quarter and asked to buy the string - interpreted by his daddy. I handed him the string and the quarter back - his dad explained "Gift" to the little boy and a huge gracias was my payment. When mommy finally emerged he dragged her over and kept saying a phrase - the interpretation - "this lady gave me a magic string." How adorable.
Have a wonderful long weekend everyone. Maybe you will find a little "magic" for your life too.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Add to the stress - the doctors office called and said that the doctor wanted to go over the results of my biopsy, but he was on call at the hospital so he would see me today. Why do the doctors do that? I spent the entire day and night worrying what might be wrong. I go at 3:30 today to find out what this was all about.
Anyway - I got home and started cleaning up in the craft room (aka dining room at my house) - damn I need that studio finished.
The cowboy quilt has been laying there - neglected - lonely, all cut out and partially pieced. High Ho Silver - it struck me - and me and Tonto (trusty first sewing machine) decided it was time to rescue this lovely. So ---- I sewed and I pressed seams and I measured the binding fabric. And I sewed and pressed seams and ......
THE COWBOY QUILT IS READY TO BASTE AND QUILT. Now I put my binding on "wrong" according to many. I like to have a "frame" around my quilts, so I have sewn on this gingham check contrast around it. The backing is more of the chambray shirting in the blue. I really like how the red check pulls the little Roy Rogers prints into focus. After I hand quilt this I will trim the backing and batting, then fold this check to the back and hand finish. (By the way - this thing is huge - I'll give accurate measurements when it's finished.)
Whatcha think folks --I am loving this one - maybe a little cowboys mom will too. This one will be for sale.
NOW - sneak peaks at a certain English Professors gift. I have been pulling together a mixed media work that I am calling MY 2 CENTS WORTH. It is based on ideas I have and quotes that I have collected that I feel are required for living a full life.
It is soft in some areas. Vintagey in some. Loud and rowdy in some. I have been setting aside the stuff to do something like this for years. I wanted it to have meaning both for me and for the person who became its owner. The style is widely varied - but hell - so am I.
Yes it's an altered book of sorts. With room for notes and doodles. Blank pages for thoughs on fine living and quotes and memory triggers. It is giving me the opportunity to use some newer stuff. Some handcrafted stuff. Some of my best stuff. And maybe because I am so focused on it being this way - some of my most rewarding work.
I made a set of cards on lovely card stock several years ago for my local best friend. They were sized for wooden cigar boxes. I add to them occasionally as a new page of the story needs to be told. LBF has said how much those cards mean and how well the story is represented. I really need to take some pictures of those and share them.
I hope MaryAnn adds her personality to mine in this. I hope she will modify the art with her own signature.
It was a strenuous day - but I accomplished so much.
Hope you have a wonderful day.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
This particular project was the dirtiest of any we tackled. We bought the house and have now spent 15 (almost 16) years working on it. Some of the rocks we pulled out of this fireplace were bigger than 5 feet long and weighed significantly more than two men could handle.
Once we tore this out, we filled in the hole. I wanted a freestanding heater instead of fireplace. What I did not anticipate was how horrible the floor would look. My floors are random width pine tongue and groove. We could not match the floor in this area and it looked horrible. We also added a door to the left and closed in the door to the right.
Why?? Because you either had to go through the front bedroom or outside to go to the bathroom from here. Incovenient at best, and since I may or may not make the bed and fold the laundry, slighty uncomfortable for guests.
This is the result of all this work. Pardon the clutter in the left corner - by the door - it is always hidden because the entertainment armoire is always open. The brick floor goes all the way across the 17 foot width of the room and out from the wall 6 feet. Once you get that mass warm in the winter this room is wonderfully warm and cozy. My life is far from organized. I guess I could have primped this area, but in an attempt at full disclosure, I simply closed the doors to the tv and took these pictures The little red and silver chest is an inexpensive unfinished cabinet that I spray painted. It holds beads and jewelry findings. The lamp is there because Molly sits by the heater to do her beadwork. All of this will move to the studio when it is finished.
The shelves up high hold the stereo speakers and some knicknacks. I have several of those little stars that were used as brickwork or stone work supports. Love those so much.
The curio on the right end of the mantel is empty. It is a recently aquired estate sale piece. 9.00 for it. It is wood and curved glass. The glass was covered with stickers. The outside was nasty and there were rat droppings in the cabinet. About an hours worth of cleaning and there it sits. I have no idea were its final destination will be, but I like it there for now.
Look carefully and you will see the drawers that MaryAnn got for me. I have done nothing with them yet. Still stewing over that detail.
A detail picture of the mantel. This thing was nearly black when we started. I had Mr. Charles keep it (a habit he had to learn) and took it to be stripped. I was hoping to just stain it. Turns out it is a tramp art piece. Made from several varieties of wood and was just not pretty. So I painted it.
The brick for the wall and floor is a driveway paver. It took me 6 months to find what I wanted. Old brick was too brittle for the weight of the heater. New brick looked - well - new. These are layed upside down and have that irregular, burnt, old feel I wanted. This is the one decision I am most happy with in the entire house. Easy to care for and distinctively different.
The arts/crafts style lamp is a candle lamp and the oil lamp is new.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I spent some time browsing after the latest J.Perteman and Anthro catalogs came. I surfed over to both those sites and then went to my all time favorite one VictorianTrading Company.
I anyone feels inclined - any of these would make me so very happy.
VictorianTradingCo.com - Princess coat. Is this not just elegantly stunning. A long dress coat. Now I live in the southern US, so spending this kind of money on a coat is really not cost effective. But this is stunning- and since it is a classic look, I could wear it for years.
Another Victorian Trading Jacket. Not really all that expensive either. I love for jackets to have personality and this one does. Skirts - pants - jeans this would go with so much stuff.
One more Victorian Trading item. Over a tank top with a long linen skirt. Soft and romantic. I love this look. Molly says I am just a little out there in the way I really would love to dress. My job requires a little more mainstream approach, but I am beginning to push that envelope just a bit. Have to break in the guys in the warehouse a little at a time. Just wait - as the weight decreases the boho attire will become more prevalent.
The sweater that started the whole shopping tour. Anthropologie. A patchwork of sweater knits. This is to die for. Again a linen or velvet soft skirt topper. Add riding boots or tights and brown saddle oxfords.
I got an email from Ellen over at Growing Gills. She used the wagon wheel tutorial and was successful in making a block herself. Hope all of you will let me know if you try one.
Also - thank you all for the comments on my last post. I have some return emails to complete and a list to make for the "thoughts of home". There were also some new people on the list and I am so excited to see those names.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Have a fabulous week too.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I just spent a few minutes looking at several blog sites. Many that I don't read every day. Many of you get read EVERY weekday. What I came up with this morning is how grateful I am for the creative internet community. I can become a world traveler in minutes. I can visit with others. I can share with them. I find continual inspiration from them. Many of you have become my friends.
I try to leave several comments each day with people. But the one comment I often forget to say - Thank you. This covers many things. Thanks for gifts. Thanks for making me think. Thanks for giving me a reason to act on something. Thanks for sharing that tiny part of your life for me to read.
Yesterday - one of my really good friends left me a voice message on my cell phone. It went like this -- "good morning my friend. I saw your truck at the coffee shop and wanted you to know that I was thinking about you. By the time you will get this, I will be answering the phone and helping students, but I wanted to take a minute and tell you have a good day. Love you." Seems like such a small thing, but it had a huge impact on my day.
Then as I was reading this morning a post started with "I am sorry about the rant from..... " I want to comment. Do not apologize unless you were mean, ugly or unjust in your rant. Allow the cyber friends to build you back up. To encourage you. To be true and open friends is to know all of the sides to a person. I try really hard to make MaggieGraceCreates a positive place, but when I am low, it shows. And I thank each one of you for reaching back out to me when that happens and helping to build me back up.
I have been fortunate. I have only had a few "ugly" comments. Some have been just innappropriate for the image here. Some have been mean and spiteful. I refuse to respond to them. (Most won't let you - they hide behind the word anonymous or use a deadend blog address) I hold onto the right to simply delete them.
I do however appreciate every comment that adds to a conversation or inspiration around a subject. I try to respond to each one, and I may not have done so lately. Blogger seems to be having problems notifying me of the new ones. Please don't be offended, if I haven't responded. I promise I read the comments everyday. I am not offended if I don't get a response to a comment I have left. However, I will say, that the simple act of leaving a comment or sending a return email, has brought me together with some of my absolute favorite people.
This journey has drawn me in. I have become more creative. I have become more thoughtful. My poor family endures phrases like "that would be a great post" and "I need a picture of that for my blog". Many of you have challenges that increase my skills and make me stretch just a little farther. Many of you have tutorials that are incredibly helpful. I have learned so much from you.
We are a diverse crew. Representing many races, cultures, ages, educational status, economic status, marital status, and on and on. I have to say. I never think about any of those things as I read a blog. I love lifestyle posts on blogs. I love reading about your kids, your jobs, your pets, all of that. I love seeing your homes, your spaces, your gardens, your family. I love all of that. I love know what inspires you. What your favorite colors are. I love playing along in your memes and your challenges. It is tons of little things that make up this big thing.
I cruise over to flickr and I look at your eye candy. God knows I love looking at your shops - I could seriously be broke all the time spending money with you. I love your recipes - your organizing tips - activities for kids. Travel reports. Product reviews.
Simply put - I am glad to "know" YOU. Each and everyone of you. Thank You for all that you do.
Today I am grateful for you - if you have read just one word of my ramblings - thank you. Regular readers and those who leave comments - thank you. Local friends -who come here and encourage me - thank you.
I leave this gushing thank you post with a request and a quote.
REQUEST- give me up to three words or descriptive phrases that define HOME for you.
THE QUOTE - Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
I am happier because you passed my way. I hope I have made you happier by passing yours.
Have a fabulous weekend.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
This is all from the birthday purchases. I sorted this into three boxes - neutrals, brights, and specialty (they have a glittery string with them). Toss about 10 spools of the brights in a metal lunch box and take this everywhere. The first one was a nightmare, but once I figured out the instructions, they are simple to do.
to start - with color A chain 8 - join with slip stitch to make a ring.
do not turn this block - it is crocheted in rounds.
Round 1: chain three (this will count as one double crochet) complete 15 double crochet in ring. join with a slip stitch to the top of the chain three. (total of 16 double crochet including the chain three)
Round 2: slip stitch in the space between the chain three and 1st double crochet. Chain 5 (this will count as a double crochet and a chain two - bear with me it will make sense). Complete 1 double crochet then chain 2 in each space between the previous row double crochet. At the end of the round slip stitch into the 3rd chain of the initial chain 5. This will give you 16 spaces.
Round 3: slip stitch into the 1st large space next to your hook. Chain 3 (counts as a double crochet.) complete two more double crochet in that space then chain 1. Complete 3 double crochet, 1 chain in each space around. Join with a slip stitch to top of initial chain 3. end off and cut yarn.
TIP - I use a single chain to end the yarn off.
TIP - I also weave in my ends as I go. I hate that part of the process so I minimize spending endless hours at the end of a project.
TIP - I am also making garlands of these tiny circles for Christmas gifts.
Round 4: Begins the conversion to square shape. With color B tie on in any chain 1 space. Chain 3 then single crochet into next chain 1 space (do this for 3 spaces total) on the 4th space chain 5 then single crochet into the next chain (makes the corner) complete this pattern all the way around giving you 4 evenly spaced corners. Join with a slip stich to the bottom of the first chain 3.
Round 5: slip stitch into the loop of created by the chain 3. chain 3 (counts as double crochet) complete 2 more double crochet in this loop. 3 double crochet in next two chain three loops. When you get to the corner chain 5 loop - do 3 double crochet -chain 2 - 3 more double crochet (this turns the corner) repeat patten all the way around. Join with a slip stitch to the top of the initial chain three. End off yarn color.
Round 6: With color C - join yarn in a chain two corner space. Chain three (counts as double crochet) Triple crochet in same space. Double crochet in same space. Double crochet in the space between each double crochet of the previous round. At the corner complete 1 double crochet, 1 triple crochet, 1 double crochet in that space. Continue around. Join with a slip stitch to top of initial chain 3. End off yarn.
These are great scrap projects. If you have any questions please email me at email@example.com. I can make one in about 15 minutes if everyone will just leave me alone. I will be posting photos of the projects as I get the first 50 made. (the doll blanket requires 50 of the size pictured here) Please show me yours as you complete them email me with a link and I will post the links.
Fun fun fun
Have a wonderful day.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Here are the rules: 1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts. 2. Players, must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. 3. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I came home to this sitting beside the kitchen door..... (that is Jr the cat snoozing in the shadows of the big box)
A huge and "impersonal" box with a pale blue shipping label AND a smaller red box with some adirondack chairs pictured on the outside. Now I know who the big box is from, but the small box is a complete surprise. In we go...
The big box was my drawers- you know the ones that MaryAnn went back to get for me. I trusted her to know what to get me and man was I ever right. Two big ones that will hang on the wall in the studio and hold "IttyBitty" stuff. A medium one that as of right now has not been commissioned for a purpose. And my favorite - which I have no idea what I will do with - but it is still my favorite. There were also tiny lead types spelling my name - my girls' names - and the words hope and joy - and figure stamps including the coolest bird silhouette.
The small box - a Queenly treat. A multipocket bag - sturdy and in the coolest fabric combination. Perfect for my crafting travel pack - with room for the phone and wallet and keys. I am absolutely loving this one too. There was also an "Old Timey Songs" mixed cd (not pictured) because it as in the cd player immediately and this adorable little perpetual calendar she thrifted. (the little blue book) It was at some time given as a thank you for someone's service and it appears to have been made from handtyped little pages. Adorable. I will be copying some of these to use in my other works.
Thanks you my lovely friend - Vallen - this was a lovely surprise. Thanks MaryAnn for being willing to go out of your way to spoil me.
A close up picture of the smallest drawer. Also my favorite one. I have no idea what I will use this one for at all. But it certainly is cool. Each of these slots it about the width of my index finger.
Blip over to each of these ladies blog home - The inspiration they share is incredible. The friendship they have given me is such a priceless blessing. Love you both so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Have a wonderful day everyone.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Why pipe cleaners of course. These get stuffed in the corners of my cabinet. They get all twistedy and funked up and that drives me nuts. Just look at how pretty they are in the jars. I can see what colors I have and I can get to them easily. All for a quarter each. Now on to the next storage solution search. (If i just had the studio in a finished state for this stuff to go into.)
On the creative front, I made several of those tiny squares. I have my list of things for the festival booth. I have part of MaryAnn's giftie completed. It was a good weekend overall.
Have a wonderful day.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I always - and I do mean always - struggle with gifts. I want to cater the gift to the recipients taste. Make sure it is something they would like. Handcrafted gifts and art are even more difficult for me. Then I went back and looked at my Cheerleader - made by MaryAnn. This is not a piece I would have made. It is not a style I like to work in - however it is a style I love to look at. And that reminded me of something I already knew. Once I get past trying to make something in a style that another one does and go back to "my" style - I get over the artist block.
So there it is - why do I love MaryAnn's work - Vallen's work - Black Apple work - and on and on and on? Because their work is so different from my work. I still have "performance anxiety" whenever I send off a package. I have the same anxiety about displaying my wares in a festival. I love what I do, but will others enjoy it as well? Well enough of that - I make things - and I make then in ways that make me happy - I enjoy the process so much - I love to see those raw materials become something that I have imagined - and I NEED TO CREATE TO EXPRESS MYSELF - TO FULLY BE ME.
I have been needing a quiet evening with just me and my stuff. So last night after I was an employee all day - a best friend at lunch - a sports fan and Mommy for the evening - and chief chef and bottle washer for the early night - I forgot about sleep and spent some time just making things. I glued and I punched (tiny butterflies). I stamped and I sorted through some papers. I decided the main theme and materials for three collage pages. I went back to my roots - I made trays with all that stuff - and started assembling the embellishments as well. Damn - do I feel better today. In that environment - the rest of the life "junk" doesn't matter. I can move forward from that and let the MaggieGrace lifestyle be the primary one.
I carry a craft with me all the time - that is great and it works to keep me busy - but it is shared almost everytime I get it out. I find myself explaining what I am making or how to make something to somebody. I love to do that - expecially to youth - maybe the artistic lifestyle will somehow become important to one of them. But what really stirs me is time alone working with my hands making the vision in my mind become a reality.
So today I am tired and a little sleepy, but mentally I am on my way back. (Special thanks to local best friend and Miss MaryAnn for their concern, love, support, encouragement, and ass-kick that they shared.) FYI - MaryAnn - there still may be drunk girl backup singing this weekend - wanna come.
What stirs your soul? What brings you back to creative center? What is the one thing you must do to have a great life? I am not talking shelter or money - or food? I am talking that part of you that you must nurture - or you lose your passion for life - what makes you - YOU?
Love and best wishes for a happy fulfilling weekend.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Miss Molly has been benched. She has a chronic recurring back thing. (hey MaryAnn I may adopt wonky back as my description) She was born with a rotational deformity of her right hip. We did the therapy thang and it is not a problem. except for stressors like sports. Then a soccer injury in 10th grade exaggerated the problem. We saw doctors in the conventional medical field and all they do is throw drugs at the pain. Then we started seeing a chiropractor and within days she was amazingly better.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. A wheelbarrow race at practice - gives you that swayback and reinjures her. Now we are retreating an aggravated injury. New Coach is not an advocate of chiropractic care. Benched until we see a "real" doctor. Molly is devastated. This is her senior year. She is the "star" of the show. College recruiters are watching her. AND THEY ARE WATCHING HER WARM THE BENCH. We offered to have her cleared through the emergency room - not good enough - I am now trying to get her an appointment with an orthopedic/sports medicine specialist. Insurance is a rip off. See this doctor first - then a referral - then a referral - then -then - then. SO we wait and watch her be frustrated by it all. We have a friend who works for the ortho specialist - she has pulled strings and is helping us. What did they tell me in the preliminary consultation - take some Aleve and ice/heat treatment. So we will now start the process of throwing medicine at the pain. It is a strained tendon/ligament/muscle. Crazy. But we won't play until we can be released by the MRI readings.
Yesterday was Molly's birthday. She got benched and she broke her car. Has no AC or Power Steering- new belt required. It is going to be 100+ here today - gotta have that AC - so we took it to the shop this morning. Of course Mom came up with the money for that. We were at the ball field working the concession stand so no out to dinner for us. And that my friends was her birthday - as she announced - the worst day of her life.
This is the other child. This is the bitched part of the title. She had an early softball game on Wednesday. I was on the phone with her dad about Molly's benching and all of a sudden he was yelling and cheering. This was a serious conversation about Molly, but he had to interrupt for the cheering. I simply hung up on him. Seems Miss Abby scored - should be a great thing - she stole home on an overthrow and scored. The coach let her have it. Dad called me and said Abby scored - Doug is chewing her out. I know this coach - have for years - so I say back - how about telling me whole story. Abby is stealing third and the coach gave her the stop sign. She took a lead off third anyway and chose to ignore the "back" call. They threw the ball behind her and she came on home. When I talked to her - she said "doug chewed me out for scoring" - I had to explain that was not what she got chewed for- she is 14 and hates me for not taking her side. But ignoring a coach is not something to be cheered.
Can I send these girls back for newer models? Maybe running away should be the Mommy thing to do? I have a 14 year old who swears she hates me - I know she doesn't. And I have a frustrated 17 year old who thinks a NEW car would solve all of her problems and can I please just magically make this MRI report and release happen - wish I could do both of those things for her. Is there some magic fairy who will erase memories of the teenage years from everyone's brain. You know - kids go away to college just when they start becoming human again - maybe we could just send them away from 13 - 18 and let the aliens who abducted them deal with all the crap. Then we would all be reasonable when they come back home.
While I am making fairy Godmother requests - I could also use a money tree and a clock that allows more hours everyday.
Have a wonderful day ya'll.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Look everybody, I've been nominated for a Nice Matters Award. This comes via my friend, also a Teresa, over at Metallyptica. This blog community amazes me. She is a law student from Portugal and I really cannot tell you how we met. She makes jewelry, and I am fortunate enough to own a ring from her, someday maybe the teenager will let me wear it. Molly scarfed it up 'cause it matches her outfit. I will give some thought to my blogger buds and pass on my own nominations in the next few days. Thank you so much -
At this point in the day 17 years ago, I was in a hospital bed, tethered to six IV lines that were keeping me from a heart attack, stroke, or seizure. I even had a "crash box" - a Craftsman tool box with that label - that traveled everywhere I went - bathroom included. They were terrified that I might die from the reaction my body was having to labor and I was too close to the edge to be put to sleep for an emergency c-section. at the beginning my blood pressure was 160/110 - a spike that they really haven't shared with me caused a nurse to climb on my bed and squeezed magnesium sulfate through those lines because the IV pumps could not pump it fast enough. Later today - 4:01 pm - will be Molly Brianne's 17th birthday. All of the drama seems so far away now, but it is still almost like it was yesterday. Happy Birthday sweet girl - I love you.
Miss MaryAnn has been shopping for me. Just look a the typeset letters she found. There are also typeset drawers coming. I cannot wait to get these in the mail from her. Link out from her blog to her etsy store and buy some of her other goodies too. I swear she must have the best thrift locations ever in her area. Add to that she is an incredible artist and a crafting machine. Above and beyond all that - she is my friend and she has added so many blessings to my life.
I am working on a gift for a blogger that is fairly involved. She reads here so no pictures. That is so hard for me to do. What I am creating is an adaptation of inspiration I found out here in cyber world. It is detail intense, but oh so much fun. I will post the process and the results after she gets it.
I do want to share this book with you guys. I bought my copy in the bargain books at Barnes and Noble. The back cover of mine is torn - but that did not keep me from purchasing this incredible eye candy book. I bought it for the eye candy, but it is also CHOK FULL of WONDERFUL organizing ideas.
There are also quizzes to take - to determine your "style" and "decorating personality". I completed the quizzes last night - just for fun - to see what they identified me as. These are dead on right - that is way cool as far as I am concerned.
My decorating style - IDEALIST / ADVENTURER - my score was dead even on these two.
Some characteristics of the style
-Natural and simple
-Pictures of family and friend are important
-trinkets and art object from friends and family are important
-cotton is a preferred textile (dead on right)
- leather chairs (note the leather recliner that is "my" chair)
-you prefer to refurbish and repurpose furniture and other items
-it doesn't matter if all your furniture matches
- live plants or fresh flowers stimulate your creative mind (I kill real plants but cut flowers are wonderful -especially if they are cut by the person delivering them)
-Funky patterns attract me
-Red leather would be the color of choice for a sofa or chair ( note "my" chair is red leather)
-I want guests to be welcome in my craft space
-accents in my space will be diverse.
-inspiration will come naturally if I am surrounded by a variety of fun and interesting things.
It was as if I wrote my own description of me.
The other quiz was "decorating personality" - I scored as a Fire/Red on this one. Again it was perfect for me.
-strive to become better.
-seek new solutions
-everything will have a logical place or plan
If you get the opportunity to look at this book, you will not be disappointed at all.
I hope you all have a wonderful day.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I have no pictures on my camera today - so I jumped over to Flickr and created a mosaic.
Usually I can see a pattern to what I am attracted to in my favorites over there. Not in this one. I will say - the little house pendant is just adorable. I have a big jar of scrabble letters so I do believe I will make a few charms for the festival booth using this inspiration for tiny collage on the back of those.
I also adore the little tags in the first picture.
I did not craft through the ballgame last night. We moved the concession stand from one bulding to another instead. The heat is exhausting here right now so I simply read some and then went to bed.
Tonight we will be watching volleyball and then home from there. Maybe some creation tonight.
The first two weeks of school are always stressful because we are adapting our schedules and everything else. Trying to find a groove for all of us that will allow us to function somewhat normally.
I feel lost without creating. I feel overwhelmed with my schedule right now. I continually feel like there is something I have forgotten to do. And I have the other stressful (betrayal) situtation going on that is a continual exercise in forgiveness and letting go. I have had chest pains that are nothing but a stress reaction and my natural tendency to quit eating when this out of control feeling happens is being triggered right now. (that should be a good thing since I am trying to lose weight. It is bad only ecause I know that the anorexia reaction is about control not about healthy eating or weight loss. I really have to be careful of it. Eating disorders are horrible to become healthy after, an alcoholic can avoid drinking, but food is a neccessity and therefore you cannot separate yourself from the trigger item.)
See you guys tomorrow.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Well give me a metal lunchbox. I toss a few of those spools, a hook, and scissors into it and traipse off to sit in the miserable southern summer heat and humidity.
Even under the shade from the easy up tents it is 98 degress. The athletic director is walking around all over checking temp readings with this fancy digital sensor. He is ready to bench kids if the readings get too high and dangerous. Even those sitting still are sweating enough to become dehydrated - so tons of water being consumed.
What the heck are we doing - - playing ball of course. School softball, the annual Red/Grey scrimmage game and then following that the Alumni Game. There was not a dry thread anywhere. Let me just say - I left to go pick up some things for the picnic- went by the church to get ice in the cooler and experienced the most wonderful feeling I could imagine at the time. I had taken a change of clothes and I changed to dry underwear at the church. OH yeah - that was a wonderful change of attire.
Anyway - I don't sit still well and I chose to learn to make a new granny block - just look at these.
It's called a wagon wheel block. All acrylic yarn - I know - eeeww - but the baby dolls won't care. This is designed as a doll blanket. I am sizing it to fit the doll bed I have from my childhood. Isn't this a fun little square? The first one took forever. All the counting and it being tiny thread and a new pattern. Now I am up to speed on it. There is still more trim occuring. There is some lace ready to starch and bobbin for sale. Button card makings are stacked and ready to go. A special gift is being worked on for someone's birthday.
I have MaryAnns' August CIP already - I really would like to to see some more from the other participants and I need to get a fall mailer going. Janet sent a July but there have technical problems - Janet can you send me the Doll Pictures again??? Please.
Every now and then I publish a list of my schedule - this week scares me to death. Just look
Monday - softball game - move concessions to rec park for Wednesday - funeral home visitation
Tuesday - volleyball game -
Wednesday - leadoff classic tournament starts - MOLLY"S BIRTHDAY
Thursday - volleyball game - softball game
Friday - leadoff classic tournament
Saturday - leadoff classic tournament
Sunday - church - youth rally - Fury party
Can anyone volunteer to grocery shop and/or do the laundry for me? Laundry will be late every night because we gonna need the uniform to be clean in the morning.
You are probably going to be seeing more of those little bitty squares and trims - because I will be sitting and doing lots of that this week. I have committed to a booth at the fall festival in October. So I have to build up some stock of cards and trims. There will be very little time for studio work until Labor Day weekend. We started that little project on Labor Day weekend last year - it really should be done - the only reason it is not is money and time.
Hope this finds you all well and rested. I was rested until I looked at the week - just the thought of it is exhausting.
Friday, August 10, 2007
We love her too.
After 27 years, she knows me well. So instead of tossing this box into the trash, she brought it to me for my birthday. (She also brought scrapbooks for my "real" gift.) The fact that she knows me and thought of me with this is the most special gift of all.
Its vintage. Imagine buying Hallmark brand cards at a dollar for 21 of them.
I took the lid off and found this. I can't find a date anywhere on it. But its an almost complete transfer pattern. The is even carbon paper and part of an old receipt in the box with a tracing of the piece missing. (Ann - was this in Mama Norvan's or Grandmother Simpson's stuff?) The small piece that has been traced is the piece missing from the pattern - so it must have been a favorite.
After that layer was more stuff. A free sample for the "new" Taster's Choice freeze dried coffee. Floral hankies, Linen hankies, thread. A really fun and sentimental box.
But wait ... it isn't floral hankies... IT"S AN
APRON - hand stitched ribbon trim. Made from several hankies. The pleats are hand stitched down on the ruffled ones at the bottom. Just look at the color and pattern. Ann said she remembered making something similar in Bible School as a child. This will definitely have a place of honor in Maggie Grace world.
One linen hankie (green) is trimmed in off white crochet. One has the ball of thread attached and is a WIP (yellow and has the varigated ball attached). One is a pale periwinkle color. I would love to finished for my girls to carry as old or blue in a wedding someday. And that wasn't coffee - it is a jar of salvaged vintage buttons. Carefully snipped and collected over time.
Question for ya'll - do I dare try and finish the yellow WIP one???
How much fun was this as a gift?
Ann - I love you and I am blessed to be your daughter-in-love. I am even more blessed that you have allowed me to be your friend. Thank you for getting to know me and I am so happy that we have NEVER had any of the MIL/DIL thing going on. You have made me feel like one of you from the very beginning. I love, respect and appreciate you and G-Daddy so much.
Hope everyone has a good weekend.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
These are my new friends. I replaced my walking shoes during the tax free days over the weekend. I kinda knew I needed new shoes, but I had no idea how bad it was until I put these on Tuesday night. Grey with pink reflective markings. They were reasonably priced, but as I walked, I realized - it really does not matter how much they were, this accessory to my wardrobe is as important to my sanity as my glue gun.
When I walk, it is usually after dark or before daylight and everything else is done or before anything else is done. For the last two nights, it has still been 90 degrees when I started out. Georgia humidity too. OMG how quick does everything get soaked in this humidity.
I have walked with others in the past. It has a level of acountability that some people need. I prefer to walk alone. I can be quiet with my thoughts. I can listen to voices drifting through the dark. I can watch as the world wakes up or settles in for the night. I can hear the cicada's and crickets. I have startled more than one fox or deer. I do not walk with a walkman or MP3 player, don't like the noise.
I have several routes that I like. The dirt road around and behind the house. The track at the school. The streets of Danielsville. The streets of Royston. The track is the most public. round and around, almost always finding someone at your pace, an easy conversation place, no expectations of completing conversations, you just stop when you have reached the end of your time or mileage. The dirt road is for heavy contemplation. No one is out and about at the times I am. I carry my gun, because coyotes are everywhere. The city streets fall somewhere in between, often quiet, you meet people, but no conversation expected, a simple acknowledgement will do.
For the last few nights - the city street has been my choice, but I think I need a dirt road walk really quick. There is upheaval in my life. Changes are happening. Quickly changing. I really need some time alone to figure this out. I can't afford a trip. (donations welcome) But I can give myself a little sanity at a time on those daily walks and that's where you will be finding me in the next few nights.
Not to worry - I'm just breaking in the new shoes.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Another free Dover Image. If you don't subscribe - hop over to Dover.com for free clip art. they will send an update regularly and it includes free images every week. You can right click this one for yourself. MaryAnn liked the image, this one is for her.
We have ants. Living in Georgia - this time of the year - we are accustomed to watching where we step because of the fire ants, but watch where we sleep??? Yes you heard that right - where we sleep. We have ants coming into the bedroom. Not fire ants - just the little guys the we call piss ants. They bite. They are annoying. They are in my bedroom and even a few in the bed. So I have pulled out furniture and sprayed and vacuumed up dead little bodies. I have a huge pile of clothes to rewash. What an inconvenience. What a mess. The plus - a completely clean bedroom - although unplanned - is really feeling good.
So no Maggie Grace goodies to share today.
Tomorrow is back to school. I send Molly to her final year of high school. Surprizingly, she is emotional. She is realizing that she will pretty much be on her own in a years time and that has her freaked out completely. I am just trying not to think about it. I want to savor every moment of this last school year with her and not worry about the future at all. I want to live in the moment through this. Abby starts high school this year. That - I am emotional about. Not sure why, but this one is a difficult transition for me. (Then I could just be feeling old)
We went to the school this morning for Freshman Day Back. An open house of sorts. Since we were familiar with the school and its policies this was easy for us. I was able to spend some time watching people. We have done the right things with our girls. Pushing them just enough to grow and be willing to be self sufficient when needed. If you are an incoming high school freshman, mama does not need to be filling out the student forms for you. Mama does not need to show you how to find the bathroom. Mama certainly does not need to walk you into the school tomorrow morning. There was one point where I was standing in the hall and a mother came up almost in tears, she was "lost" from her child and worried that the child would freak out. People - these kids are almost old enough to operate a moving vehicle - surely they can find their class room in a building with a map on every door. Abby and her "posse" hooked up as a group and journeyed through - visiting teachers and coaches and each other. Not at all nervous about tomorrow - supporting each other - confident and self assured that this was just another transition they would successfully navigate. That is one more message that we are doing some things right as parents. Thank you God for those little reminders, I need them often to know that I am doing all I can.
I hope all of you have a wonderful evening - we have church and then school supply shopping. There will be new pens for Mom too.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
In an earlier post, I gave a WIP shot of some orange trim that I worked on in the hospital with Abby the other night. Thank you all for making your comments on that one. There will be more trims in varied color, length, and pattern forthcoming. There will also be vintage button cards and the trims for sale as well. Anyway Mary is playing in the Pay it Forward handmade gift with me and although this is not part of it, she will be receving a handmade from me.
I have one more slot in the PIF group of mine.
Mary expressed interest in trimming pillow cases in the trim, so I am sending her some. Highly technical way of measuring, I crocheted the first length long enough to encircle one of my pillowcases. 42 inches allows for a little cross over. Made a second length and then remembering how Charles' grandmother made up her summer bed, I made a medallion to go in the center of a folded down sheet. This will be in today's outgoing mail to Mary.
I handwashed the trim and starched and ironed it. Left it flat to dry completely and wrapped around card stock with another of those wonderful vintage images. The medallion is drymounted onto the card stock using just starch. that way there will be no residue left after it is removed and sewn on.
I started another length of green last night and I have an idea for how to use it. This particular pattern looks like rick rack to me and I will treat it that way. I am thinking on creating different lengths like 6,12,18,24,36,42 inches and then anything longer making that a custom order. Any ideas or input there?
I will more than likely make a few sets of pillow cases. Then for my booth display, do a doll bed set with a medallion and a trimmed pillow case. (I have the doll bed from my childhood.)
My girls go back to school on Thursday and since sports workouts and parent meetings have started, the crazy lifestyle returns. At least this year they will both go to the same school, this will be easier - they can ride together.
Here is hoping you all have a wonderful afternoon. I will be sitting with my crocheting in a volleyball parent meeting - hope your evening is more pleasant than all that.
Monday, August 06, 2007
How cool is this image? I have been nominated as a Rockin Girl Blogger my my friend and cohort - Miss MaryAnn. We "met" through swap-bot and through the laws of destiny, have remained cyber friends. I only wish we could live close by and have that face to face contact that next door neighbors have. Love ya lady and thanks so much for the nomination.
As my part of the game I have to nominate 5 others. God this was hard. I tried to make it people who have not been nominated as best as I could tell. I read 100's of you regularly and hope to not offend here. You all bring such a daily treat to my screen. Thank you each and every one for putting yourself out there for us.
here goes my list.
Felicia over at fluffy flowers. A fellow Georgia blogger. Makes the cutest softies ever. Has an Etsy shop. Shares information about her neck of the woods. I was tickled to find her online. Hoping we can work out some sort of lunch or dinner soon.
The lovely Natasha Burns. Oh My God the stunning beauty here. I found this link durning the teas party sponsored by another blogger. I was going through the links on that post and found this. She also has a stunning Flickr home as well.
A cottage industry - recently finding herself in a solo position, this lovely has spoon fed us inspiration and encouragement as she finds her new way. Beautiful decor. Fabulous and workable ideas. And a wedding to accomplish.
Shauna Ahern - newlywed and gluten free . I started reading her after a friend referred me there. She shares her life as it has been enriched with gluten free foods. Shauna has a book coming out soon. You can preorder on Amazon now.
The ever lovely Queen of all. Miss Vallen - a kindred spirit. Loverly lady. Collector of all things fun and bright and kitsch. A swap buddy that remained as a friend. I look forward to seeing her every day and seeing what brightness and fun she can bring to my ( and your) life.
There are my five. Mind you - there are hundreds more.
I owe some people an apology. Apparently blogger has decided that some of you were not worthy of notifying me about. I just discovered some comments that have not been emailed to me. If you have left a comment for me in the last 10 days and I did not respond either by visiting your blog or email - I am so sorry - some of the comments did not get emailed to me. I love getting your feedback and sharing on my posts. So I will be going back though the last 10 days and manually looking at comments. Thanks so much - teresa
Friday, August 03, 2007
Everybody has something that they do. Abby plays ball. Molly plays ball and creates art. Daddy lives the ball thing vicariously. I create. I sew. Glue. Crochet. Paint. Etc. I just wish that everyone at my house realized that this is just as important to me as the things they do.
(Vintage button and trim notecards.) The idea is that the buttons are part of the gift. They are basted on and will easily remove.
If the girls need equipment - it is immediately taken care of. I have been trying to impart this idea to the person in charge of renovating my barn. This is handled in spurts.
Seems he would rather watch practice than work on this project. But -- and yes this is an ugly statement -- if you are at practice and your child gets hurt you need to determine the extent of the injury.
Abby got hurt last night - not serious it has now been determined - but she self medicated from another persons stash with Aleve. She had already had Advil before practice. The amount of medicine was not dangerous - but Dad should have been in charge of medication - HE WAS RIGHT THERE.
Anyway - finished practice - called home - emergency room visit required. Round up the insurance card - go get it from friends Mom - they took her to the beach with them. Arrive at emergency room. Two and a half hours later - Just a badass bruise on the inside of her left elbow.
The really hysterical part of the night was the exchange between the sisters as Abby arrived home. She made the high school softball team and they were practicing diving for ground balls. This is how she banged the elbow on the ground. But she was covered in Georgia red clay from forehead to toes. She gets out of the truck with elbow in an ice pack and Molly meets her at the door. First words out of Molly's mouth --- "YOU HAVE MY SHIRT ON. MOM LOOK WHAT SHE DID TO MY SHIRT. OOO THAT'S NASTY."
Of course I grabbed a project to take in -
This is what a mild emergency room visit looks like to a crafter. I started this trim when we got there and crocheted 40 inches of it. Yes - as the lady beside me said - That is sewing thread - it is that size and the lovely salmon color. This was one of the spools from the Birthday trip. The book is one that my mom gave me and this is so simple to do. Once you get the rythm of the patten, you can rock on easily. I will call this finished when I empty the spool and then wash and starch this. It is the 2nd pattern shown on the page in the picture and to me it looks like rickrack.
I have made several of these note cards. The images are from Dover. The buttons have been thrifted, gifted, found and I love to pour them out and match up several for a card. Maybe the shoppers at the festival will like the finished products as well.
How about some feedback from you peeps? Do you like these? How about the crochet trim? Should I try to package it and sell some or should I incorporate it into another of my creations? Is the lace packaging from yesterday's post appropriate? I can sell a toilet with the best of them, but I kind of freak about marketing my handmade and vintage items.
I sure do wish that MaggieGrace Studio was nearing completion.
Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend.
Note - the cards are all made with items I already had.
Will the lovely owner of the JUNEAUGUST blog please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be receiving a PAY it FORWARD handmade gift from me and I want to get to know you a little better.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I had a horrible experience at one time. I made these adorable postcards for a mailart swap and my partner got her card, but all of the collage was MIA. I had used plain old glue sticks for that and was mortified about the whole thing. Seems that humidity and damp weather are not good friends with glue stick. I still use them for my inspiration books and for some collage work. I also use glue stick for altered journals.
Acrylic Medium (no photo- sorry) is fab for some paper works and since I buy the matte finish - I also use it as a sealer on things.
Plain white elmers glue and water is what I have used for the stamp shelf and cabinet. Really doesn't matter about brand there - I just stock up at back to school time. WalMart just had the elmers for 10 cents a bottle.
My XYRON create a sticker - One of the coolest things I have ever bought. You can get refills of permanent or repositionable adhesive. I watch for the refills to be on sale or for Michaels to have a coupon for money off on anything. Slide your material into the slot - pull the little tape through - tear - lay on a flat surface then rub. I use my nails or a paint brush handle on tight areas. The release paper pulls off the excess sticky. I had this out last night working on the button cards you see. I made stickers out of ribbon and lace strips that I then sewed the buttons through on the card. I will post finished photos of the cards tomorrow.
My favorite collage glue. YES Paste. I have had this tub for over a year and it is almost half full still. This is a thick thick brush on paste. No bubbling on paper. No odor. Soap and water clean up. Dries clear. I use an old hard bristle brush to spread (smear) this all over the back of an image. I keep a damp towel and just wipe my fingers off as they get sticky. Works for paint chips too. (I know every crafter picks tons of those up all the time) I have found this at Hobby Lobby and at Michaels.
A finished shot of one WIP from this week. This image was a free DOVER image. I resized it to about 2" wide by 4" tall and wrapped a yard of the cream vintage lace around. I have hand washed the lace and ironed and starched it. Wrapped and folded into a point at the end - I threaded a needle with scrap floss and tied it off to seal the end flap. In my thinking - this way if you untie the bow carefully, you can use the entire piece of the lace. I hate the sticky things at the end of ribbon spools and there have been times when I needed just that extra inch of ribbon that is glued to the spool. This one is not for sale - goes in a giftie for a friend - but there will be more to come. Hopefully, I will be able to sell some of this stuff in October at the craft fair and then maybe start that etsy shop like so many others have done.
Special thanks to my buddy - MaryAnn. She has nominated me as a rockin' girl blogger. We met through swapbot and have formed one of those firendships that will last. Love ya girl. I will have to give it some thought to see who I am nominating. So that follow up tomorrow as well.
I hope this finds everyone having a great day. Oh and by the way - everything here qualifies as USE WHAT I HAVE.