Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MaggieGrace is crazy busy

I have been to a job site to tell a homeowner why her toilet flushes with hot water. (Call your plumber back to uncross the hot and cold lines or live with a nice warm seat when you need it.)

I have had my mechanic test drive a used vehicle I am buying.

And I have been super busy at work.

Just so you don't leave here bored and shaking your head - take off on this side trip and scroll down to the hexagon artwork --- absolutely beautiful.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Finished ---

What would happen........

This was the opening of the first papragraph in a thrifted dictionary. This is featured in the Rebecca Sower inspired piece from several days ago.

Loving the finished piece so much - it will be for sale in the booth in November.

All those fabric wrapped scrabble tiles. I find myself rubbing the texture so I'll be taking the glass out the frame for this - finished size 11x14.

I'll be framing this in a plain black frame. Constructive criticism please.
And this was the sight I found in my utility room on Saturday night.

That is Sam - Molly's boy - ironing Molly's clothes for Sunday. What the ????????? (please do not look too closely at all the mess around him)

I had a greatly productive weekend. This was finished. I crocheted several rows on an afghan and a shawl. I also started my swap goodies for the en le Jardin art workshop. I am so intimidated by the list of attendees, but also excited.

Have a great afternoon everyone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Fun Stuff

Music - dancing - singing. Love it. All kinds. All eras.

Mama had a stereo with an 8trak deck and could play 45's and lp's when I was growing up. We spent many hours singing Harper Valley PTA and Little Old Lady from Pasedena using a hairbrush as a microphone. I remember playing a Jan and Dean Album over and over. Or setting a stack of 45's on the turntable and singing for hours.

We saw Tanya Tucker when she was 11 or 12 at a concert in my hometown gym in Royston Georgia. She sang Delta Dawn and I remember thinking how much fun it must be to travel and just sing for a living.

The was a country music park near where I grew up. Shoal Creek. There was an outdoor stage down by the creek. We saw Jeannie C. Riley there. Later, they built a nicer building, still very much like a metal warehouse and used folding chairs for seating. There are pictures of my dad and Dolly Parten from that venue. (What I remember from that concert was big blonde hair, that high pitched giggly laugh, and the "bling" on Porter Wagner's coat.)

The Songsters, a southern gospel group, I remember from the gymnasium at Emmanuel College. Mr. Buddy Coile sang bass for the group. I now go to church with he and his beautiful wife Miss Jane. I told more about them in this post.

Blues, jazz, rock and roll have all been included in my music listening. Uncle John is JW Hell, rock and roll uncle, brother, and friend, spent many a night in a bar with that crew. I love that environment for stress relief. Dancing - getting completely caught up in the moment - the pulse racing motion accompanied by music, laughter, and booze. Been there - done that - ton of those t-shirts.

One Christmas, before 1980, I wanted the KISS solo albums. My mom said no, but my Dad (Santa) brought them anyway. Again hours of music.

Dating. Concerts included, Lionel Richey, 38 Special, Joan Jett, Pat Benetar, Skynard, and Alabama. I discovered that the Man at My Address neither sings nor dances. Not even in the shower. And yet, he loves music too. The Georgia Satellites, Derringer, and Pat Travers got added to the list. Edgar and Johnny Winter joined Stevie Ray Vaughn as favorites too. Note, I no longer sit while wishing he would dance with me. Gave that up years ago too.

Married. Add children and some Barney is a Dinosaur music to your list. Those Friday nights dancing in a bar are few and far between. But still I danced, just with a toddler, who is now in college, on my hip singing Travis Tritt's "Quarter Song." Now that they are older, nights out are beginning to occur again.

Just because I never told this before, I rolled a car when I was pregnant with the College Freshman. Landed on the top in the bottom of a ravine. I turned the switch off, put the car in gear (as if parking) and took the cassette out of the player before trying to get out of the car. Yes, that is bizarre, but that's what I did.

Cassettes, then CDs, now MP3 players. Love a mixed CD with songs chosen by someone else. Those CD's are immediately swiped by the teens and downloaded to the MP3 - then returned to a mom who is still at CD stage in her vehicle.

Add in a stint as children and youth choir director and you add hymns and praise music. Favorites there - Amazing Grace and The Old Rugged Cross - and a Contemporary song called No Orphans of God.

Last night, the Softball Princess had procrastinated on getting a paper done. At 9:30 we discovered that the printer was out of ink. At 9:36, Mom is on her way to WalMart (some 25 minutes one way) to get one. Angry at a teen, frustrated because this kind of crap don't happen at other people's house (I know that it does), driving in the rain, I thumbed through my CD box. What was I looking for? Nothing in particular, but I realized that the role of music in my life is varied and huge. I have now included the children's music among my likes as well. Music will always be important to me.

So what did I choose? - Nickleback, Buck Cherry, Rhianna and some mid 80's Stratus. There was also a little ABBA. And yes, I was the one singing in the car at the light and seat dancing. I also was over being mad before I got home.

How about you?

(note - pictures are of albums in our collection. We still have the component turntable system and still use it regularly.) On a good day - I dance - just because it feels good. A partner would be nice, but at this stage in my life, I think its okay just to dance for myself.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recycle - reuse - repurpose

Gift tags crocheted from old cards.

I am reaching the bottom of the pile of these, so it is time to pack a bag and make some more. I have a huge box of cards to cut circles and ovals from. I use the pile of yarn from the score I blogged here.

A very portable craft. Just my style.

It is raining and cool here today. The Softball Princess stayed home from school. I had to chase goats this morning at work. In the rain.

It is just the kind of day that would be nice for a small fire and napping.

Hope this finds all of you having a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Forever is a long, long time.

note - I snagged this picture at flickr. Please follow the links to see more from this photographer. The story is not about the pictured couple.

Friday Night - small town Danielsville, Georgia - truely a one red light town. This is on my way home from work and I stopped for Chinese at the new shopping center (the one with 6 retail spaces and is the most happening place in the city limits.)

I was meeting Molly and Sam for dinner. College student and teen boyfriend - always ready for food. I watched the old couple pull up. He drove slowly, no, deliberately, looking for a space closer to the door. The two of them had to be in their late 80's. They were dressed to go out to dinner. A special trip, something we take for granted.

He parked and got out. Looking at him, I am sure he was quite the good looking catch in his younger days. His still beautiful wife moved oh so very slowly. It became obvious that time had not been as gentle with her, she was frail and unsteady. He walked to her side of the car, got her door, reached in and gathered her purse and sweater, then carrying those items he took her gently by the arm and escorted her in. Again, plodding across that lot oh so slowly.

It made me happy to watch them.

Molly and Sam joined me and we were fortunate enough to be seated next to them. He draped her sweater on her chair and set her purse down next to her, then helped her to a seat in the chair. His patience was obvious. I sensed no annoyance at the time and effort this all took. No annoyance from either of them.

It made me happy to watch them.

We fixed our plates at the buffet. He fixed hers. I never heard him ask what she wanted, as if all those years of living together had simply given him the information he needed. He took her plate to her, then went back and prepared his own. I could see his face from my postion, but could only see her back. As he sat down, he reached across the table brushed her hand and said "you look pretty" then handed her a fork and made sure her drink was where she could reach it.

It made me happy to watch them and I told Molly and Sam that it did.

He encouraged her to eat just another bite or two. Ever watchful without being pushy. He cleaned up the few things that fell from her plate. Simply taking care of his bride.

It made me happy to watch them.

Molly, Sam and I lingered after we ate. We laughed and talked. I watched this old couple still very much loving toward one another. When they finished their dinner, he went and paid the check, came back to the table, helped her to her feet, gathered up her purse and sweater, then oh so very slowly walked her to the car. The very last thing I heard him say was "that was a very nice dinner don't you think."

I never heard her say one word. I have no idea what caused her frail manner. I wondered to myself if she was even able to talk to him. I watched the decisions to love and care for his partner be as easy as breathing for him. I wondered so much about this old couple.

It made me happy to watch them.

I lifted a prayer for them and a thanks to God for allowing me to get a glimpse of long term love. Forever is a very long time.

I look at my girls and know that they are in the time of their life where they are working towards making a lifetime partnership decision. I hope Molly and Sam were watching carefully the old couple at the Chinese place. Love is not about texting one another all hours of the day and night. Love is not about those three words that are often tossed about far to casually. Love is not about calling to see what she is wearing so that your tie can match. Love is forged and fire tested in each little bitty decision to sacrifice for the good of the partnership.

I watched the old couple carefully - he demonstrated every descriptive word from the scripture.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will come to pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am full known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

It made me happy to watch them

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thank you Rebecca Sower

I saw this post over at Rebecca's place. Fell head over heels in love with the idea. I love her work anyway and I know that like me, she carries a project all the time as well. I have to or I would go completely crazy sitting and waiting for things.

It is amazing to me how quickly a few stitches at a time add up.

I have collected Scrabble letter tiles since forever and when I saw Rebecca's picture, I had an immediate inspiration.

I strie painted a background in creams and browns.

Now I am in the process of "wrapping" my letter tiles in some strips of decorator weight fabric. I am loving the little "hint" of color left after I fray a few threads off the front. Subtle, but I like it. It is a little tedious as well.

More bits from the weekend. Happy birthday to my wonderful MIL - Ann.

It was great to see you Alan, Jackie, Brookie, and Brody (granddog).

Uncle John - love ya.

Lynda, Maddie, and Laura, and Honey (another granddog) - it was great to see you too - sorry we had to eat and run.

Chicken BarBQue at the church - Relay for Life bingo Fundraiser - and a softball tournament.

Whew - I needed to come back to work to rest.

Oh yeah - I am going to THIS.

Have a great day -------

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Fun Stuff

I had a bowl of buttons set aside for Very Mary. Quite obviously, if you go to her place today, she has now hit the button mother lode. My little bowl full is going to look pretty insignificant compared to that score.

Also - collectors of ephemera and other such goodies. Go see her and link out to her ETSY and do you part for economy stimulation.

Now on to Friday fun. I bought these at the flea market the weekend we took Softball Princess snow skiing. You all know that I love this kind of thing. I even love this back side view just because it is graphic.

But turn them over and have a look.

I tried using them in the conventional manner as stamps, but they are worn. I was able to get workable images by rubbing them face up.
My favorite is the unmounted boot.
I have no idea how old these are, but I sure do like them.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thinking Spring

An unfinished apron. Shared with the quilt guild at our meeting on Tuesday. Found in a box of goodies from a thrift store. The box also included appliqued Dresden Plate quilt squares. I grabbed a piece of disposable paper table covering as quick as I saw this and started tracing. I'll be making a few aprons in the next few weeks.

I also copied all of the embroidery on the copier. I'll use my transfer pen to add these embroidery patterns to my fabric.

The embroidery on this is beautiful. I'm still a beginner with this stuff.

The scalloped bottom is fun. The blue on this ladies dress is colored in (or painted or something). Does anyone know how that would have been done?

All of this with the embroidery is so pretty, but I think it will be just as pretty made from some thrifted sheets.

Instead of working on quilt stuff, I finished this little car seat cover. I had found several balls of really soft wool yarn at BigLots for 1.00 a ball, and this is just big enough to cover a car seat. It does not have a planned owner, but I am sure there will be one soon.
Tonight I'll try to sew an apron as a door prize donation for a fundraiser this weekend.

Seems to be super busy in my life right now. Not sure what that is all about, but it seems that way. Have a wonderful day ------

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

can't touch this

I do not look like this - doesn't even come in my size - there is a reason for that. Because there has to be a weight limit on some things.
Nor do I look like this - anybody remember I Dream of Jeannie.

MaggieGrace is dumbfounded today. Actually it was yesterday.

Anybody remember MC HAMMER. Especially these pants...........

Well ---- I got my Anthropologie email yesterday about the spring catalog. Yes I immediately said "those were horrible the first time and some thing really needed to stay dead." I then forwarded an OMG of that email to all my buddies.

I love Anthro. Well most of the time I love Anthro, but the horrible fashion mistake above is listed at 178.00 american dollars.

I do not look like her. I do not have 178.00 to waste. There will be no "I dream of Genie" costume in my wardrobe this spring.

Wanted - Genie who's ass will fit in a freaking wine cask -Just doesn't have the same ring as Genie in a bottle does it?

Laugh - add you favorite fashion police mistake - discuss.

have a wonderful day

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sorry -

That was an unplanned blog break. Got busy at work. College Freshman was home on spring break. It was all good. I made a few more bracelets this past weekend. Time to go on a search for some more silverware too.

These pictures are inside under a flourescent light because it has RAINED all weekend - YES YES YES. The only time it was a problem was when I was sitting in that rain at a soccer game on Saturday - that qualified for the word YUK.

I cut and I drilled and I polished - let me just tell you - if you need to polish silver, copper, or brass a lot, go ahead and invest in a Dremel tool and the polishing accessory kit. I used NEVR DULL wadding style polish - rub down the silver with it, then used the nylon brush in the dremel tool. Life is easy and you all know that I like easy. FYI - that black bead in the picture above is actually a vintage glass button. That is a very large bracelet because those were serving pieces.

These mother of pearl hearts came off a bracelet that broke. There were three on that bracelet and of course I saved them
A total of 5 new bracelet to replenish what I had sold. I like all of these, but I think the one with the button is my favorite.
I also had visitors to MaggieGrace World yesterday. Sam's parents came over and we went to an art show. Then when we got back, they asked to see my space. Well after the season of cold weather - this place is a mess - I have dumped things in without too much thought. Then I took out the desk for my show booth. Anyway - I swallowed hard and let them in. Sam's mom is an artist and his stepdad is a photographer, they were pleased with what they saw and a little surprised at just how much crap I have. I told the Maggie Grace story. I explained how I create for ME and my sanity and not for monetary gains.
As I talked, my faith and my witness became more apparent even to me. Instead of wondering what they thought about what I make and where I make it, I simply was who I was and I realized that impressing them was not even a part of my story. I was struggling with wonderfing how I would handle rejection as I take MaggieGrace more public. I was wondering "what if people don't like what I make" as in "buy what I make. " I realized - I make what I make because I like it and I really enjoy the process. If others want my stuff - that's great - but that is not what I am about. I have a grown up girl job and whatever I spend on my muse is just sanity purchased. It is a good place to be.

Dad snapped this of the College Freshman and I fixing some dinner Saturday night. Yes this is one of those OMG I am so fat pictures that makes me more accountable to eating much better and exercising more. There is also a ton of visual messy clutter in my kitchen that I could probably do something about.
I really enjoyed having her home for spring break - I had to work so I didn't get to spend as much time as I would like to - but I sure am already missing her today.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My monsters ---

I snagged these from the facebook of the College Freshman. It's getting more difficult to have pictures of the two of them together - since College Freshman is gone most of the time. There's also a boy starting to appear in the pictures on a regular basis.

Front porch - Sunday evening - March 1, 2009 - 9 inches of wet, nasty, power destroying, snow. I melted snow in containers over candle flame to flush the toilets - does that qualify for TMI? We did grill salmon for lunch on Monday --- yummy

Snuggle buddies on the sofa - this is a favorite picture of the two of them.

The ski trip kids - at Ski Beech in North Carolina.

God I love to see her smile - laugh - giggle like this.
My mom swears that I will miss all the running around that I do for them - we will see. Last night there was NO MaggieGrace stuff - I pulled all the stuff together for the tax lady - fun fun.
Have a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Something I hope to find.......

Looks unassuming enough, doesn't it. A large popcorn tin. Sitting with the other cheap tins in the thrift store. I was looking for square tins to use for packaging for goodie box prizes for a BINGO Relay for Life fundraiser and this was in the way of one. I pushed it to the side and it was heavier than I expected. You know what happens then....

Your heart races - glance both ways to see if anyone is looking - and you ease the lid open. Gasp - slam lid closed and grab the thing and race to the check out. I bought a few cigar boxes, Some scrabble games and this. Happily hand the old man at the checkout the 16.00 he asked for and run to the truck.

Then was too busy to really investigate the contents until I got home last night. I took the tin's picture on my kitchen porch. Then helped the man at my address move the wood heater. Cooked supper. Took the Softball Princess to the FCA meeting. All the while craving the time to open this "bucket"

Finally - late last night I opened it.

Oh yeah - buttons - including a complete sales sample sheet.

I had a wonderful time going through them. I bottled up some and sent home to Molly's boyfriend's mom.

Now for the real reason for this post name. I piled yarn - floss - and fabric scraps on a stack of debris in the yard. This morning I saw a bird fly by with a colorful bit in it's beak. I hope to find a colorful bird nest in the nearby woods soon.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Glimpse at my weekend

I am a little (more like a LOT) competitive so ribbons this color makes me so very happy. Especially when the competition - and former employer - had to step out of the way for me to receive my award. Kick ass moment -----

Paper roses and lace - an elegant romance themed booth - now what am I going to do to top this next year.

Those paper flowers drew much conversation - and people into the booth - accomplishing what you want to happen.

Paper cones of spring flowers - add just a pop of right color. At midnight Thursday night I was hand stitching ruffles to make the top trim of these cones.

I sprinkled color and accents through the booth. I used the College Freshman's prom outfit from her Senior Year.

The ring pillow from my wedding - a vintage string of pearls - the dresser that I use in MaggieGrace World and the table from beside my sofa.

Even the shower heads made an appearance.

What do you think? The cool part - I got a side job decorating a retail spot for one of our customers. A pool place is adding patio furniture to their offering and I'll be using my handy inexpensive tricks to separate an area for this display from pool chemicals etc.

MaggieGrace had a good weekend - I wore some of my jewelry and everyone loved the flowers etc. So I'll be adding more stuff to MaggieGrace's repertoire.

Happy spring all - if any of you want to help me clean and reassemble the showroom - just let me know.
Have a wonderful day.

Ready for this - I spent less than 60.00 for booth decor items - not too shabby right?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Roses Are Red - I mean beige

Fold Staple Fluff - Fold Staple Fluff - over and over and you get a box that looks like THIS ....

Pretty just like it is. The guys at work discarded two boot boxes with nice little carrying handles. You know the crafter in me had to grab them to use to carry and store crap in.

After I made all of these - I added pipe cleaner stems.

Poke - Fold - Twist.

Then book page leaves. Cut out using a cardboard template and tracing it - yes - I did these the old fashioned way. I love my die cut machine - but it sure did feel great to have paper and scissors in hand.

Hot glue - craft wire - masking tape. Makes a fairly good sized pile of leaves. I used the only floral experience I have to wrap these little bundles.

Add leaves to stems - more masking tape wrapping. Watching the Real World on MTV (confessions of mindless stupidity). Result - beautiful bundles of paper roses. 50 individual stems - bundles are for temporary convenience - I'll show you on Monday how I used these.

But - just in case you want to see this - here is a single rose just for you - sorry so dark - I took this in the house at 1 AM this morning.

I wont be here tomorrow - I'll be at our classic center setting up for a grueling weekend of work ---- be back Monday.
I do have to say - mass immersion in craft has helped my mental outlook more than any drug or drink I might indulge in. Off to do more of this.
Have a wonderful weekend.