Monday, August 31, 2009


Thirty days hath September. There is a whole poem of this but for now I am focusing on just this one month. Time for stash busting 101 again. Here are my guidelines just for me.

1. Everyday will find me with at least 15 minutes in the studio - or working on studio stuff. (I had to add this because softball princess has two out of town tournaments this month - I'll pack a huge bag to work on. )

2. I will use only what I have on hand right now. No new purchases for the month.

3. All of my creations will go toward inventory for the art show.

4. If you join me - there will be a link on the side bar to your blog. Leave all the info in the comments.

5. Now for the fun part - we all got stuff - but occasionally we come upon something we either need - or need to get rid of. Leave a comment here with wish lists and/or giveaway notes and lets see if we can give our extras and unwanteds a new home. I, for instance, have a ton of old dictionary pages - I'll send 20 of those pages to the first person who leaves a comment requesting them. I would love to have a few old buttons over 1.5 inches in diameter to make pendants with. (does that make sense?) -

6. I'll post creations and supply pictures as we go. I love to see the progress we make on clearing out some stash. Personally - my first project will be a ton of tags from the scrap paper bins.


I'll be updating the sidebar this morning and through out the month. I may also move wish lists and giveaway notes to my post.

Wanna play??????

These are scans that are clickable for you guys. The newspaper clipping was stuck in a freebie book I got off the last chance table at the thrift store. Nixon had phliebitis --- history lesson without a pop quiz.

I have a beautiful life ---

Have one yourself - okay.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Originally uploaded by maggiegracecreates
As you can see from this picture of ONE WALL in the studio, I got stuff. I also got more stuff on all those other walls. (and several other undisclosed locations). I am also getting ready for the art show in November.

Time to hunker down and really focus on inventory and stash reduction. The stash reduction comittment happens routinely and here we go again.

September has 30 days. Even I can focus on not purchasing ANYTHING for 30 days and USE ONLY WHAT I HAVE ALREADY in my possesion for that amount of time.

Come back Monday to see my plan of attack for 30 days of USE WHAT I HAVE. If you want to play along too, I'll have a list on the sidebar of all us "collectors" so we can take off and encourage each other.


Go ahead - make you plans - comment here or on Mondays post. You know you NEED to play along.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I got an award

From JulieAnn over at Kitchen Floor Creations - I am flattered. She is a creative soul like many of us.

Anyway I am supposed to list 5 things I enjoy doing -- don't worry, this has been censored. And add 5 people of my own to give this too.

1. I make things. All kinds of things. It makes me happy.

2. I like to cook - I cannot believe that I just put this on the list, but I do enjoy cooking and as I get my kitchen arranged like I want it there will be even more enjoyment of this activity. I especially enjoy trying out new recipes and finding that low fat and calorie foods do not have to be low taste foods.

3. Relax with a Margarita (or sweet tea) and music to fit my mood.

4. Support my girls. I don't love softball, but I do love watching Abby play softball.

5. I enjoy my job - weird huh - but my current job is the most fun place I have ever worked. Yes we have bad days - but the good ones far outweight the bad ones.

Now five people -

Lannae - jewelry designer - love her stuff - can't wait to see what she brings to art market in November.

MaryAnn - one of my very first cyber friends. Generous - kind - creative - witty. Love this lady.

Karen -Junking in Georgia - I really want to spend time at the mountain house with her. Look back at all her gorgeous pictures.

Vallen - the Queen herself - colorful - fun - inspiration - and she is a crafting and cooking machine.

Carrie - a voracious reader - a new mother - and in my opinion has a way cool job. Love this girl. Add to that she is creative too.

Now from my world -

Puppy needs to figure out how to keep her yarn ball a little neater when she is crocheting. When we got up this morning - she had it strung all over the room. I'll have to work on this.

My house is almost primed. Yes - he may finish is by cold weather.

ALL CAPS AS A SHOUTING CELEBRATION PHRASE ------ A TEENAGER NOTICED MY WEIGHT LOSS AT CHURCH LAST NIGHT. I was frustrated that I can't see it myself, so I needed this boost. Then I went home and tried on clothes that I had outgrown. I have some favorites that are classic cut pants and skirts that I kept because I wanted to be able to wear them again. I can tell that I will get back into them now. MOTIVATION....... Thank you Katie.

Got a phone call early this morning - seems puppy decided to play the escape and chase me game with the Man at my Address. He was not having a good day.

I hope all of you have a good day - guess what -- I have a beautiful life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Its such a hard life

Being a dog at our house. Poca (also known as monster dog) is all puppy. Grabbing skirts, pants legs, shoe strings, the sofa skirt, hands, fingers, whatever - she is chewing her way into the dog from H*&& description. We swat her, distract her, try to bribe her - all of the normal training tricks - with minimal success at this point. Still we spoil her.

I got out of the shower this morning to find this .......

Yup - Monster Dog is in the bed (my bed) with the Man at My Address. I did crop this picture to protect you guys from the visual I get every morning.

Last night I got home to find that she had shredded the paper training paper into quarter sized bits of confetti.

This morning she learned how to push the screen door open and then play a rousing game of chase with three teenagers and one cussing mom. This was not a one time occurance either. We chased the little sucker twice. I broke a sweat before I left for work today.

About work - My friend Lannae called on Monday and had a kitchen faucet leak. We looked at faucets on the phone and online - and ordered her a new one. She and Will picked it up yesterday.

Seems Will had the impression that I was a teacher as my job - that was way too funny. But I told her to bring bread and that we would feed the animals out back.

Photo below - stolen from Lannae's blog.

Will said over and over "I just don't know about this" as we fed the critters. This is Mama Goat - yes that is a pipe taped to her horns. She pokes her head through the fence and gets caught, so we tape that on there to keep that from happening. I love taking kids out back to see the animals - Earl the donkey always talks to us - and I am glad Will came to see me.

I hope Lannae likes her new faucet - it looks great on her granite.

Ya'll have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dish washing (drying) made pretty

I have no idea where I found the line drawing. We call them "snake doctors" here (Tipper is that an appalachian phrase too?) I had the Martha Stewart dish towel in my stash - so I went looking for floss and such. The line drawing had the body filled in with floss - I originally intended to use buttons from the stash - then while I was digging, I found these red orangy beads. Loving how this one turned out. I did manage to spill tea on it on while I was working at the ball field. I'll wash it and iron it tonight -

There will be more of these for sure - what cha think?

I spent the entire afternoon yesterday cleaning in MaggieGraceWorld. I managed to clear one work surface - two more to go. It was nice to get back in there and work - more of that to come.

That pup is growing - she is funny but not yet super loveable. Damn that puppy nipping. We are working on the biting and chewing - the sofa, the chair, my arms, my toes. Yesterday she spent a load of time outdoors and she comes and goes in and out of the studio and the house. It was such a nice day that I had the door open and she would slip in and startle me with a nip of my foot, then when I would jump she thought we were playing.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day - I got workout - then more house and studio cleaning.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm from earth - how about you.

I parked beside this truck yesterday. Beat up and battered, but the handpainted lettering was still visible. I fell for the the location - TAMPA.USA.EARTH. Yes it was that green. I am betting this person was a little eccentric.

Certainly looks like MaggieGrace is doing nothing. I am slowly building inventory - but the puppy, working out, and the highschool softball stuff have put a damper on things. I'll get back on track eventually.

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll be at the Leadoff Classic Softball Tournament - Danielsville Georgia USA Earth

eta: this is post 800 for me ----- wow may need to plan a giveaway. look next week

Thursday, August 20, 2009

this picture ain't me

Neither of these women is me. I swiped this off flicker. As always - follow the links to the original owner.

These women are smiling as they run.

Me - I am the one gritting my teeth. Oh and bitching. Whining - that too. I HATE TO RUN. I would rather lift weights any day than set off to run.

No matter that my running is more of a run/walk/try to catch my breath/almost puke thing. It does make me feel good to complete the distance set forth.

Runners high - never been there - probably never will - I'll just listen to other runners describe it and live vicariously.

I may hate every second of it ( I do hate every second of it), but every workout finds me able to go a little farther before I have to walk and catch my breath. Every workout brings me a little closer to a 13 minute mile. My legs do not scream nearly as loud later that night and the next day. I can see improvements in my stamina, strength, and running distance. Being slightly competitive in my nature - that gives me the encouragement to continue. Dropping a pants size ain't too bad either.

I was talking to the teenagers who frequent my vehicle and home about discipline. About the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a task you hate. About how turning into the driveway to boot camp is actually the worst part of a workout for me. About allowing your brain to give you excuses and listening to them. About silencing the inner naysayer that often screams louder than the encourager is capable of.

The outcome of that little chat with three teen girls who are all athletes. Because I am old and fat, there was no way I just knew all those things (you know how stupid parents are - insert eye rolling here). But the Softball Princess was listening, because later (when her friends were not around) she let me know how proud she was that I have decided to do this, and that I am doing this in a healthy manner instead of simply starving myself to death.

Healthy eating == same price as unhealthy eating

Bootcamp workout == 5.00 per visit

Feeling a healthy response to the efforts == so worth it

Having your 16 year old recognize the effort and praise you == priceless and the best encouragement ever.

Look for me - I am bitching, moaning, complaining and whining - but by God I am running. Don't tell me you don't have time - if I can find the time in my lifestyle you can too.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Going on at my house.....

The puppy's name is Pocahoma (Poca for short). It is the name Softball Princess coach calls her - so basically the dog's name is a softball inside joke. It is a curb setter breed - a mix of chow and other critters - the black on its tongue and curled up tail give it away. Also incredibly laid back in temperament so far - it just wants to chew on every thing. Also the big dog - Licorice - hates it. We have decided it is just so hard to be a dog at our house - this one has simply moved from place to place napping most of the time. While we are gone (and at night) - it has a crate - but if we are home it has free rein of the house.

Now for MaggieGrace goodness - this pissed me off. I glued the paper I wanted over the heart and look what happened. The red off the heart bled through. Now I will have to regroup. It will be okay, I just have to figure out what to do. I'm thinking another layer of music will be the fix.

Now - College Girl had her last teenage birthday on Saturday. We all went to dinner at one of our favorite places. I cannot for the life of me get blogger to cooperate on these pictures - soory what you see is what you get.

Dessert - brownies and ice cream. The boy had steak - and in a vote of what we as a family call weird - he uses honey mustard dressing as steak sauce.

A seriously good shot of the sisters - Abby's hair is getting darker every trip to the salon. It is a gorgeous deep red this time.
Now for fun and games - I had to perform a miracle repair on the tiara. But Sam wore it gracefully.

The birthday girl had her turn too.

She's off this week to her first full week back in class. (PS - i really like this picture)
Hope you guys have a great monday. You know - I really do have a beautiful life.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Friday

I started my day with this on the cd player in the car. Toss in a litle Fogerty, some Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Norah Jones. Add in a little button clicking on the cd changer and add in Hard Sun by Eddie Vader (thank you JenB) and some Jonatha Brooks.

Its Friday. College Girl turns 19 tomorrow. We got a new puppy (see yesterdays post) Low key day at work. No softball this weekend. I got weight watcher points left for some margaritas or a couple glasses of wine.

Look out porch swing - here I come.

Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An adorable interruption

This little lady came to visit with us last night. Abandoned at our church - a very sick momma dog and 4 pups. The Softball Princess looked at me with those big pleading eyes and sweet little bit here got in my car. She is smart - and already follows the Softball Princess everywhere. Daddy has already said - don't name that dog. But she slept in the house last night and she is locked in the bathroom as we speak.

Now that we have College Girl moved back to the dorms for the fall, I was able to get out to MaggieGrace World last night. I started gathering bits for a piece of collage art. This one will have the phrase on it that titled a previous post.

I have a beautiful life.....

We went to eat at Zebs BarBQue and I was distracted by thoughts of this artwork - so I rushed home and started gathering - mostly to keep from losing the idea.

All the bits are stacked on an old broiler pan that we found in the old house at my inlaws.

The crochet doiley is a purchase item that I tea stained. I made the crochet rose. That gaudy red heart will get a coat of sheet music and fun embellishments. The whole thing will be against a backdrop cut from a player piano roll.

This should be fun to assemble - I'll glue down the backing tonight and possibly get a layer of paper on that heart.

Have a great afternoon.

Anybody near Athens Georgia need a puppy??????

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

She's back...

The College Girl is back on campus. Seems getting her back to school has been technically more difficult than getting her in last fall. She has a new admissions person - who apparently is an idiot. We checked all the boxes - but the scholarship monies were not dispersed correctly - then the rest of the stuff just has not been smooth at all - she was supposed to have a voucher on her loans for books - not done. I may get to drive back to school this afternoon - to deal with all this. AAAACK!!!!!!! eta - all worked out - thanks to Sandra in financial aid.

Moving her back was so much different yesterday. It was just not emotional at all. We had a great time setting up her room with one exeption. The shower in the bathroom was nauseatingly filthy. Mold - OMG - it came off the walls and floor in chunks - kid you not - chunks. I scrubbed the shower myself using 3 cans of foaming bubbles - followed by a wipedown of undiluted liquid bleach. Gross ---

Now after a day off - I came in to find this note on my desk

Any note starting with horse hooves and ending with ky jelly requires explanation. Turns out a coworker was researching liquid glycerin and it is used in all the things listed. But you do have to admit this list is a little scary to find on your desk. LOL -- comments appreciated --

A little updated photo. Please ignore the squinty eyes - we were looking directly into the sun when this was taken. After boot camp on Monday - it was 101 degrees when the workout started (in the sun on the football field). I have lost 23 pounds - and one pants size - about a third of the way to goal. Hot sweaty and gross.

Left to right - Becky - me - Margaret. The three of us spend a lot of time together - our girls are softball players.

I will say - yesterday - I could tell a huge difference in my strength and stamina while we were moving College Girl in. It is not easy - but as long as I can see improvement in some area, I can keep going. Even if it being able to do one more situp - or one more push up - or one extra press - or ten extra feet in a sprint - it serves as reward for making the effort to keep it up. The hardest part for me is turning in the driveway to the school. I will be posting sporatic pictures every now and then just to see if you can tell a difference.

This was taken earlier this spring -

Those are some good looking young ladies - wish mom was tall and thin like them. I can see some differences in my face and neck so far --

Have a great evening.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I have a beautiful life but.........


I have looked and looked. The glue gun and the glue sticks are in a black shoe box. I cannot find them. Checked the studio, the cars, the tool boxes, the pile of crap in the dining room and I cannot find it at all. It will surface.

It is a good Monday. The universe left me a love note in the parking lot at work. It somehow formed from a muddy footprint. Cool ---- I love seeing these random hearts and as long as the camera is handy - I will be sharing these with you.

This is finally happening at my house.

He started EARLY Saturday morning. When I found out how early he planned to be there, I jokingly said "if you are coming that early, you better bring coffee." Damned if he didn't. Knocked on the door before 7am - coffee in hand. Apparently I have done a better job training the painter than I have the man at my address. He got a coat of primer on this side of my house. Looks great too.

About the title of the post. Keep an eye out, I'll be using part of the phrase in a collage project very very soon.

Have a wonderful day

Friday, August 07, 2009

See I do still make things

The beginning of another doiley blanket. This one already has an owner - although we don't yet know her name. We just found out that a friend is having a girl. 3d ultrasound video is amazing. Dad is a hunter so the color name of this yarn is particularly appropriate - it is Baby Bee sweet Delight Print in color name Pink Camo Too! How cute is that.
This is a new pattern for me - I like it so far - we will see how it comes out.
Softball opener for the fall school season is tomorrow. Pictures - practice - 2 games - dinner -----

Have a great one.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

i dreamed in blog post format

yes you read that right. - last night, i dreamed in blog post format. specifically in google reader format. I could see all these little images and words - really weird - my list of things to get done in that format.

what was on the list - funny my brain even categorized them as wip and completed and to be done posts. posting to maggiegrace was not on the list. but here i am. LOL


getting softball princess ready for back to school. (she started today)

getting college freshman ready for back to school.


housework - i have scaled mount laundry and survived

parent volunteering for school softball duties - like cleaning concessions stand, field house, stocking said things.

add those duties to a full time job - the result - no significant maggiegrace time

I obviously have a serious blog addiction problem -- lol

I even see inspiration details in stupid stuff.

My boss makes starbursts of his cigarette butts out back - I find that more than a little OCD - he says he does this at home too. Even more crazy - I found it blog worthy - that is scary. I may need an intervention myself. Go ahead and laugh.

but now that we have had our fun ---- how cute is this.

Buttons ----- printed on a gift bag. ADORABLE. I was at dollar tree yesterday getting stuff for concessions and work. I saw these hanging in the gift bags. HAD TO HAVE THEM and I bought everyone in the store (6). I try to keep a good stock of quick gift bags and these are so cute - versatile too. I have to go to the other side of town today and I'll be checking there for more of these.

Hope you have a wonderful day -- I may be a bit sporadic until the college girl is settled in her dorm room. Please don't abandon me - I promise I'll be back.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

my athletic past

For more about this sport go here. These are not my pictures. But they illustrate the sport incredibly well.

Emotional baggage. I did not expect that to be an issue with the exercise and weight loss journey. I don't know why I didn't expect it, food issues are a large part of my history along with a lot of other crap. But for the last few workouts, I have found myself dealing with some things in a big way. Because I use this as my journal, I am recording this here. There won't be any sordid details, but if you choose not to read this one, it's okay by me.

I was a water skier. From the time I was a little girl and learned how, until even now occasionally, I loved to ski. Until my Daddy died, I skied fast. Sometimes up to 70 mph - distance competitions. Me, the boat, daddy driving, an observer and speed -- loved it. After Daddy died, I didn't trust anyone to pull me that fast. After that, my skiing was recreational.

But I was in great shape. Skiing is a whole body sport. I was not tiny, but I was muscular, toned, and (quoting the Man at My Address) had great legs.

Then my daddy died - killed in a job accident - and I developed anorexia. I wanted to die too. Mother was involved in her own grief, my sister lost her mind (pattern here to go with recent events), and the Man (who was not at my address but was in my life) stood by and watch me get smaller and smaller and less fit and sick.

And alone, I battled back. Went to college, graduated, went to work, became a mom, twice, diagnosed with cancer, faced it alone again. Then things went a little crazy and I let myself go.

Food issues - now I ate anything because I was afraid of anorexia again. The are lots of extenuating other things here, but the result was this extra large sloppybody on what used to be a very fit and healthy frame. I have expressed discomfort and desire to lose weight over and over again - but never really applied myself to the process.

I always tried to diet my way back slim and that just does not work. For the last couple of workouts, I have found myself angry. Really angry with myself for allowing this to get this out of control. Also angry with lots of others who enabled me to get this far out of shape. As I sweat and struggle through these workouts, I know it would have just been easier to have kept some semblance of fitness all along.

I am not discounting that everyone is working hard in this program, we all are, and the leaders are so encouraging. I get stronger and more fit with every workout. I can see progress in how my body looks and how my clothes fit. I have a ton more energy. The sense of accomplishment that comes from hitting the wall and powering through it still amazes me (always did have that problem after skiing about 17 miles and realizing there was 8 more to go).

I will say that the fear of anorexia no longer is a factor - I am so much more mentally healthy now and I know that food is fuel and good fuel in the correct amounts is necessary. Every now and then, I get frustrated with the scale numbers and for a day or so, I may go into "starvation mode", but I am listening to my body speak and that doesn't last very long.

Coca-cola was my major weakness. That and sweet tea. I have not had a coke in weeks (more like months) now. I start my day with a glass of water. I have had some sweet tea (I am a southern girl) but I limit that to an occasional treat.

I wonder if everyone struggles with emotional baggage as they attempt to get healthy. I see so many people who appear unhappy with their bodies. I know I was (am). I have no desire to be "hollywood thin" I just want to feel good and look decent in my clothes. I want to feel comfortable in a tank top or swim suit. I want to shop in the "normal" sized section of the stores.

I don't want to dress in a way that draws degrading sexual attention - like I see so many women my age do. I don't want to dress like my teenage daughters do. But I am tired of wearing my shirts untucked to cover that roll of fat around my middle. I am tired of seeing cute sleeveless tops and sundresses and realizing that I would add a layer to hide my arms.

Oh well - enough unpacking for today -

Til tomorrow --- ya'll have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Monday Monday - weekend bits too

This is for Tiffany. We have goats and donkeys at work. Earl is our miniature donkey - grey, small, with attitude. This is Sugar - she is a rescue and she has been tremendously skittish, even aggressive at times. We have patiently fed her and talked to her and just generally worked on getting her accustomed to being around nice people.

The little boy in the picture is Sam, the son of a customer. He always wants to feed the "doats and the donkeys". This is from this morning, She ate NutterButters right out of Sam's hand. Everyone was excited - she has responded well to all the positive attention. I even got to scratch her nose and ears this morning. She is so sweet (or getting that way).

I was "puny" most of the weekend. Not really sick, I just was not at the top of my game. I did get a few stitches in on this little sampler. I have a plan for this one that involves it staying at my house. So much of my stuff goes to others, so it will be nice to have something of mine at home. It is a kit that came from my MIL and includes the frame. I work a few stitches at night, sitting in my chair and am liking it a lot. It is also relaxing to just sit and stitch.

Now - I have a question. What is your most hated laundry chore? Which one do you put off the most? Apparently mine is mating socks. We just mate them as we need them out of a basket in the laundry room. I also have a big bag of socks with no buddies.

On Saturday, I dumped the basket(s) - yes plural - on my bed and proceeded to mate socks. Despite the looks of these, they are clean, ballfield dirt basically ruins them colorwise, they all look dingy. And ya'll know that we live at the ballfield. I now have a big basket of mated socks, a dated bag of socks with no buddies, and a plan to toss those without buddies if they are still lonely after a month.

I also have a family who understands the blogging thing, because both the Softball Princess and the Man at Our Address took pictures and asked if MaggieGrace would be confessing to this many unmated socks. LOL. They each thought I would be too embarrassed to tell this. NOT.

A sore throat and generally not feeling well, yesterday found me lounging around - watching The Next Food Network Star reruns - and the finale last night. I like Melissa, but I really thought she would lose that last round. Softball Princess thought Jeffrey was creepy - so she was happy with the results.
I hope all of you have a wonderful Monday.