Saturday, January 30, 2010


No picture with this one. I have been trying to figure out just how to put this into words. Nothing is wrong - so please don't panic. This is about weight loss, health, and body image.

Count your blessings that you were not here on Thursday night. Why? Because I was frustrated and irritable after BootCamp. I have been open about the entire journey to regain my health and this is no different. The reason for the frustration, my full length mirror.

It was goal assessment time. The assignment - assess how you have done on the goals we already set and really study your body and performance in order to set a new goal structure.

I have been successful. Mile time down, more sit ups, more push ups, stronger every workout. Making pretty good decisions about food. Lost 37 pounds. Down from a size 20 to a 16 and some 14's. Sounds great.

Standing in front of the mirror, instead of seeing all of that, I was suddenly overwhelmed with how much more I had to go. All I could see was the fat legs, the roll of flab still across my stomach, the batwings that I have on the back of my arms, the muffin top around my hips. I cried. I cussed. I was completey unprepared for my reaction. In other words, my demons woke up.

And that has been bothering me. I try so hard to be upbeat. It is unbelievable how much progress I have made. My clothes fit better. I feel better. I am stronger. More fit. I couldn't believe the sudden feeling of depression and almost desperation that I was facing.

So I gave myself the time to deal with this -- I gave myself two hours to have a pity party. No food allowed though. I drank a margarita and sat on my fairly large sized A&& and watched really bad tv. Then after the allotted time, I went to my closet. I tried on skirts that used to be too small and some that are still a little tight. I tried on my favorite blue pants. Then I set new goals.

I can fasten the pants - new goal - WEAR THEM COMFORTABLY.

I can do 15 standard pushups - new goal - 25 STANDARD PUSHUPS

I can easily do 25 situps - new goal - 50 SITUPS

My new mile time goal 11 minutes 30 seconds.

Food goals - make more good decisions than bad ones.

Notice - not one weight goal. During the pity party, I reaquainted myself with the idea that the number on the scale is not the important number. The weight loss is occurring, but is not the primary goal. Being fit and healthy is the goal. Making good food choices is the goal. Relearning to make good choices in my habits is the goal.

Why did I share this? Because the frustrations occur for everyone. Because the mirror feels unfriendly to eveyone at times. Because it seems like you will never make it at times. Because steps backwards happen. Because chocolate or bread or soda or potato chips will sometimes win. Because Because Because.

Mostly because I want you to feel normal. I want you to know that because you had a bad day, does not mean you failed. Get up again tomorrow and start again. I want you to know that the next time the mirror may be more friendly feeling.

I can do this. You can do this. We can be healthy again.

On last goal that I did not state because it scares me. I want to run a 5k this spring. Why -- not a clue -- I hate running -- but it seems like a challenge and I do like a challenge.

You guys are so encouraging. I hope you are not bored with the weight loss stuff. MaggieGrace is about my life and this is a fairly large and important part of it right now. I really do want to be encouraging to you.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Thursday

And I rounded the end of the aisle in the thrift store.

A massive tote of yarn and vintage crochet cotton. 25 cents per spool, skein, ball.

Yup - it is in my car.
I may now have as much cotton as MaryAnn does.
Please don't be jealous - but there were 4 bags full for 10.00. Beanie hats and more scarves in the making. Lots of trims and some flowers too.
Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Wednesday

Good morning all.

I need to send some more words to my friend ANONYMOUS.

1 -- Not only do I not give a crap what you think about my weight loss or the fact that I talk about it here, you need to be aware that I AM NOT PURCHASING YOUR IPHONE. I have a cell phone, I am happy with it, don't need a cheap IPhone from you. Especially not one with a slightly cracked screen.

2 -- I also do not need to know how to download movies or music, I have my own blog, a facebook account, and I am quite capable of figuring out how to download any damn thing I choose.

3 -- I am not a GAMER either, computer games are a waste of time in my world, see above statement about movies. I communicate with people - real ones - who identify themselves to me - who offer encouragement and add meaning to my life. Fake people made up by some socially challenged programmer sitting in a dim lit world and hiding behind the ANONYMOUS name hold no appeal at all.

4 -- I do not need your help to harness any spiritual power on my behalf. Again, I have real people in my life, I have a church that I am quite fond of, and I have a spiritual relationship with the one true GOD. But I do appreciate the offer and maybe your spiritual power (whatever) will bring you great comfort and prosperity.

5 -- I don't care if you get to Malaysia from where ever you are. I am sorry you are separated from your children by all those miles, but I got my own financial struggles to deal with and no spare change for your plane ticket. However, if you wind up with excess funds from your little comments, You could share it with me.

6 -- I am not looking for a car, a lambskin car coat, nor a sexy young thing to have a discreet relationship with. Got a car - like it - keeping it until it leaves me stranded on the roadside and I have been married to the Man at my Address almost 25 years - AIN'T TRAINING ANOTHER ONE. Oh yeah - there is no need for cheap, below market little blue pills in that relationship. We got it all covered.

7 -- Last but not least - the last BLACK HAT I wore was a tophat and it was for my Senior Prom. I would consider using on as a prop in a discreet relationship, but I am far to overweight still to consider the three song activity with a stranger. Besides - I am clumsy and that floor to ceiling pole scares the hell out of me.

Now that you fully understand where I am and how I feel, you should know why I have had to turn on that dang letter verification thingy. The really sad part of it is that there are some folks that I really enjoy having comments from and these LETTERS may keep that from being as simple for them. TO ALL MY REAL CYBER FRIENDS---- PLEASE STILL COMMENT. I do need you in my life and I am so sorry about the verification thingy.

Just a random sampler of the spam comments I have just deleted from my comments.


On to MaggieGrace fun.

Mom and Poca the Monster dog. She likes it when JulieAnn comments, because she knows there is an extra treat coming. Check out the new harness, Houdini here can actually get out of it too - she ate her rabies tag. She can get loose from her leads and runs. Free spirit like her mommy. But as you can see she is quite frequently locked in her "room" and ignored. It is so hard to be a dog in this house.

BootCamp Update - JulieAnn - it is 5.00 per visit - and yes you should move here. Apply for a research job at UGA and come on down. We will help you find a place and settle in. It is warmer here - and we would love have you nearby.

Now for the really fun part of this post. I'M PUBLISHED. Look at the spoon bracelet at the bottom.

My copy was in the mailbox last night. I came in from BootCamp and the Man at my Address handed it to me. Softball Princess and Barefoot Boy (his real name is Blake - but I don't think he owns any shoes other than flipflops) laughed so hard at me because I got so excited. I have some more things to send in, and I cannot say enough good about dealing with the editor of GreenCraft. It has been a fabulous experience.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful day. I am. Now off to get some showroom cleaning done.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Where did she go???

I'm still here. More cleaning and purging at the house, but I did squeeze in some MaggieGrace this weekend.

JulieAnn - I promise you will get a swap from me. I blinged part of it last night. Durning the torrential storm. We got 2.5 inches of rain in 45 minutes. Serious rain. I was in the studio and thought about heading in the house. NOT EVEN - the yard was completely underwater. Now, since we are in the country and on a well, the water is dirty. I'll be cleaning out all of the aerator screens in the house.

But I did spot this --- a crafter lives here. This little bit is lying on my kitchen steps. A punched scroll. Cool huh. Of course the blogger in me found it photo worthy. Because I know someone will ask - the steps are solid granite. The foundation of my house is solid granite. We live near Elberton, Georgia (Granite capital of the world) and common gray is readily available and cheap to use.

I also started on my little project for the art retreat at my house.

I punched my tags for the sketch I was planning. I will be regrouping because I do not like how that many tags lays out.

They leave my canvas too crowded. I think I will use 4 rows of 4 tags instead of 5.

I did spend a while in the studio. I want to finish these two altered composition books. Then I am planning a project for my house. I have a cabinet that is full of books - I will be moving these onto a bookshelf and repainting/repurposing that cabinet as a pantry in the kitchen.

Just a quick peek at the current work surface in MaggieGrace world.
Have a wonderful Monday all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What the ????????

Note -the picture has not one thing to do with the post. Hurry to Michaels ya'll - that is patterned packing tape - 1.00 per roll. Yummy. And the little frames - 1.00 each at Dollar General with the Valentine stuff. I'll be using them on journals - I just picked them up so the pics in the frames are those generic ones.

Now - this is a random post that contains NO MaggieGrace goodness.

Last night was the church talent show. One act was absolutely amazing. My friend Melody is taking a HulaHoop performance class at a local studio and performed a routine. OMG - graceful - sensual - beautiful - stunning. Softball Princess, the Man at my Address, and I were still discussing it this morning. Has me investigating the next beginner class.

There's no MaggieGrace goodness because cleaning and purging things like old magazines and paperback books is my focus right now. I just know there is no reason to take pictures of that activity. I grab a stack of magazines (the throwaway kind) not the ones you keep forever like Victoria and Home Companion, and go through them tearing pages and pictures. Instead of piling all of those in a box to deal with later, I am gluing them into my notebooks and making notes to myself on them. Chunk the remainder in the recycling bin. It is taking a while, but I like how the cleanup is progressing.

I said something that took me completely by surprise last night. I proclaimed that "I love bootcamp". Holy -- did I just say that? WTF???? Just how did that happen?

Every vehicle in our possession has been to the shop in the last two weeks. Dang - that has hurt the checkbook - no fun money in the budget. Oh well - we will build up reserves again. I absolutely hate living from paycheck to paycheck. The great news - we have dug out of massive amounts of credit card debt in the past. All of these vehicles are paid for, so even with repair bills, the expense is not as much as one car payment would be. We may be living from paycheck to paycheck, but our debt ratio is very very small.

I am also finding some things out about perspective. I am having some friends over for a craft day in February. I am noticing things about my home by looking at it from a slightly different perspective. There are things I could go into debt and get fixed before the event, but I won't. I am hoping my friends will cut me some slack.

For instance - the bathroom floor vinyl is torn in a few places. Not going to be fixed until I can afford the tile I want. But you know, that spot by the sink is where we all stand to brush our teeth. Hundreds of morning conversations with me and the girls happened right there as we tried not to spit toothpaste on each other. That memory is priceless to me.

Same for a spot behind the door - only it is that new puppy's doing. Am I sorry we brought her home -- no way. She has caused a few issues and torn up some things, but she is there for the duration.

Go ahead - look around your house. Find a problem - my house has hundreds. Now think about how that problem happened. See if you can find a positive twist on it. Dirty stovetop = many dinners for your loved ones. Dishes in the sink = same thing. Thumbtack holes in the walls = notes and special memorablia that someone found worthy of saving. Scratches on the coffee table = someone was comfortable enough in your home to prop their feet up and stay awhile. Try my little game at your house.

NOW - try it at someone elses house. That's a little harder isn't it. Easier to look at the stuff as FLAWS. As maybe they don't care about their things. Easier to think "they should fix that" when you may not know the whole story. Me - I rarely think about my friends home having any kind of flaw. I focus on them and the time we are having together. Makes for a much more pleasnat life.

Am I going to keep people out of my home because it is not perfect? Am I going to keep people out of my life because I am not perfect? NO - I will welcome them with open arms and hope the are comfy in my home and feel loved by this imperfect person the I am.

These are my ponderings and the results of them right now.

In all of this I have come to one huge conclusion. We don't have much money, a great big decorator showplace home, drive fancy cars, take fabulous vacations and yet I can say with complete honesty -- I AM HAPPY. I ALSO ONE FABULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL LIFE.

anyone else wanna say WOW!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thanks for the lovin'

I really am sorry if I offended anyone with yesterday's post. I was simply amused by the comment. When I saw it come across, I knew I had that old throne in the barn from an old program and I immediately knew what I was going to do. If you think I cannot be nasty myself - I have you fooled. You could ask The Man at My Address - he will confirm it for you. That behavior tends to emerge when my "buttons" are pushed or if to many people want too much from me. Oh and amazingly ANONYMOUS has chosen to remain silent for the rebuttal.. MMMM.

Let's talk about BOOTCAMP for a minute - Monday night was what we call Bleacher Busters. Steps, squats, and lunges in mass quantity, done in level and then unlevel positions. Hamstrings, thighs, butt, and even calves take a serious hit. Last night was more cardio and leg work - I hate mountain climbers. This morning it hurt to dry my toes. During the night, The Man at my Address informed me that I was snoring and needed to turn over. I whined "do I have too" because even rolling over in bed was painful - situps, pulses, planks, and crunches. The weather has improved dramatically here, so we moved outside for our workout. We (I) always push harder outside but the sunset as we ran laps was stunning.

The pix below is a sneak peek of a WIP. Another baby blanket. Worked on during Biggest Loser last night. I have not picked a favorite contestant/team yet but I have decided who doesn't really want to do all they can to regain their health and life. I did like the ribbon game - that might be fun to do with a group of youth.

I love this yarn - it is Bernat Baby Jacquard in the Berries and Cream 06412 color. I was doing a different pattern on the blanket, but I did not like how it displayed the color, so after some 25 rows, I frogged it and started a granny square and I love it. Yes I said 25 rows - I kept hoping I would pick it up and love it. NOT.

I will confess, it is incredibly difficult to crochet with a 50+ pound, long legged, squirmy, wanting to help, critter in your lap. I usually give up on the crochet and just snuggle the dog.

Hope this finds all of you having a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Abdicating the throne....

abdicate - the give up formally; to surrender

Yes, I am abdicating my throne. What throne you might be wondering? Well the throne to be the biggest BITCH or meanest, most unhappy, vindictive person in the cyber world.

Who am I abdicating to?

Well of course the person who left this, now deleted, snide and hateful comment on yesterday's post.

Just who do you think you are? Professing to be this new and beautiful person. Even posting pictures like you think some of us would like to see them. You may have lost a lot of weight, but you are no fitness expert. You even rattle off numbers and claim to be so healthy. A size 16
still qualifies you for the term overweight. You may not be obese anymore but you are still a FAT GIRL.

Any of my cyber friends want to guess who left this lovely comment --- yes, you are exactly right. My lovely friendly commentator telling me some things I already know uses the name ANONYMOUS.

Well ANONYMOUS you have officially taken my title, you know the BITCH one, but you have not stolen my joy, my better health, my smaller pants size, my support network, nor my real friends. You also were completely unable to steal my power. You invaded MaggieGraceWorld - which is my turf - then cowered behind the ANONYMOUS title yourself. Sorry to disappoint you, but your words did nothing but amuse me and then, much like the Queen in Alice and Wonderland, I did away with you. Only instead of "off with her head" I chose the "permanently delete" option the power in my world allows me.

However - I gladly give you the throne - since you so obviously earned it. I will no longer consider myself the Queen Bitch of anywhere.

See I even moved your throne to a highly visible location --- in the barn. Enjoy the view from your seat, my dear. Hope the dog poop smell doesn't offend you.

To my cyber friends --- have a wonderful day --- I'm laughing and I sure hope you are.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Warning - traumatic pics ahead.

My weekend was spent cleaning and purging and generally puttering around the house and studio. I have this tendency to hoard things I might need, then I have to buy them when I do need them because I can't find them.

I did squeeze in an aerobics class on Saturday morning.

Then I aquainted myself with one of my scrap paper boxes.

All cardstock scraps - these are all cream colored and I saved them from trimming on a past project. I grabbed this box - my Sizzix die cutter and a tag die and proceeded to cut what seemed like thousands of tags of assorted sizes. Many of these will be used as the project tags for my little art day with my friends. But some of the assorted sized blank tags are just good to have around. Plus - that is one box off the crammed shelves in the studio.

We fixed the dog several places around our property with runs and tie out locations. We live in the country and she has started scavenging roadkill and bringing the treasure to mommy on the kitchen porch. So restraint while unattended outside became a requirement. Her favorite place is a 50 foot run between two barns - add the 12 foot clip on leader to that run and she can play to her hearts content. Plus she can get into either barn if there is bad weather.

Now for traumatic pictures. These are update pictures on my weight loss. Last week the doc confirmed 37 pounds lost. I cannot describe how much better I feel. I am eating right, exercising, and generally doing what all the experts tell you to do. It really is the only way.

This picture was taken on the dock at work. Notice the tummy far exceeds the boobs. The pants I have on in that picture are a size 22 and the shirt is a 1x from the "big girl" section of the store. I weighed 220 pounds in this picture.

The picture that triggered the sudden crisis. Taken at the en le jardin art workshop last may. I love this picture - I was having a great time. I was incredibly happy and it shows in my expression. But as happy and joyful as that weekend was, I felt fat and I looked fat. That is because I was fat. I weighed 220 pounds in this picture. at 5'5" tall that is way too heavy.

Taken this morning. The curves at last are going the correct direction and it appears that I actually have boobs. I have also lost at least two chins. The sweater is a plain old size large The skirt is a size 16. Readily available in normal stores - no looking for the big girls stuff. I weigh 183 pounds as of this morning.

I really want to lose another 25 pounds. Many more laps. Many more calories counted. Many more sit ups. But now I know that this is not a diet - this is a way of life. I have changed so many habits and have many more to change. But I am well on the path to making this happen.

Yes it is hard work. Yes I have to think about my choices every time I plan a meal or go eat out. Yes - I falter and stumble on occasion, but then at the opportunity for the next choice, I just make sure I make a better one. I refuse to beat myself up over a bad decision.

There is no magic formula for becoming fit. For so many, myself included, it is years of personal neglect, bad food decisions, lack of exercise, and maybe even some mental and emotional demons. But every time you take control, you are a small step closer to being healthy. Do not cash in on the pills, potions, and propaganda that is the media. Spend your money on good healthy food. Drink lots of detoxifying liquid - this is free - it is called WATER. Spend your money on a good pair of shoes. Maybe even spend your money on an exercise program that fits your lifestyle (and encourages rather than discourages you). That money will be better spent than the latest concotion. No matter what you do - move your body. You will be amazed at what happens.

In all honesty, there are times when that small voice in my head is questioning my sanity (running outside when it is 28 degrees is one of those times). Sometimes that voice even sounds like a teenager (why are you asking me to do this??????) But I just tell that voice to shut the hell up and I keep going.

I am on my way folks.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Big Trouble

I bought the dog a stuffed squeaky toy.

I may be divorced because of it.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

Good morning. I have blogged about the UHU Glue product Samples before. I sent an email responding to a product sample post at the blog and they sent me the January sample and other goodies to try and report on my experience with the UHU GLUE ROLLER with the permanent adhesive. The sample also included some papers, a "candy" box, and a few embellishing goodies. You will see in a few why I put candy in quotes.

I opened my sample and was immediately apprehensive, see I have a problem with other tape/glue rollers. Apparently I am not coordinated enough to get a clean break at my stop point. When I read the packaging it shows an enlargement of the microdot system which is supposed to help with the problem I have.

I already knew what I was going to attempt - even before I knew I had been slected to receive a sample. So here we go. I took these last night and everything is so dark - I apologize for the picture quality in advance.

I took my blank box box apart at the glued seam. Then using the UHU roller I covered the outside of the box with one of those really pretty papers. I went around each edge and then a few lines in large spaces on the box. Then using my brayer I smoothed the paper.

Product Review note. YES YES YES the microdots eliminate the problem I have had in the past. Clean stop points were effortless.

After covering the box, I trimmed everything. Then using my Sizzix die cutter and a Spellbinders die, I die cut a hole in each of the longer sides of the box. (I kept the little pieces I cut out to use later.)

Then I experiemented with an idea. Nothing like experimenting after you start a project - right? Using an ink color that coordinated with my paper and some sparkle embossing powder, I stamped LOVE on a piece of lazer jet transparency film and embossed it. (it worked like a charm).

Cut out my words and mounted then to the wrong side of the box using the UHU GLUE ROLLER.
Product Review Note: the roller adhesive worked wonderfully for the acetate transparency too.

Fold the box up again and reglue the little flap.

Product Review Note: initially I tried the roller adhesive for this task -- not very effective. (If I had read through the notes on the GLUE WITH UHU blog post about the sample, I would not have made this mistake.) So then, I grabbed the UHU TWIST AND GLUE and used it for this part. Error corrected.
See the Love in the little clear window below.

Using more of the paper and the little reserved punch out from the window, I made a little tag for my package. I attached the little paper with the UHU GLUE ROLLER. I stamped a matching LOVE on the tag and embellished with one of the bits included in the sample. I used the UHU TWIST AND GLUE to attach the "bling" . I used the same adhesive to attach a heart bead that was also included.
The back of the tag has my handwritten message on it.

Now for the reason I put the word candy in quotes. I had some of those LED VOTIVES in my stash. We used these for an event and I had them. I punched another strip of the lace edging using the same red paper as the tag. Ran a strip of the UHU GLUE ROLLER across it and attached it to the side of the votive base.

Product Review Note: Again the adhesive worked wonderfully attaching the paper to the plastic of the candle.

Turn the candle on. Drop it in the box. Close Box. Using ribbon I had that coordinated with the paper, I made a hanger for the closed box. Because the intended recipient is a crafter and I know she will hang onto the ribbon to use, I simply ran it through the opening underneath the closure. I ran some bakers twine through the hole in the heart bead and tied it to the ribbon hanger.
My message "you light up my life."

Below you see it hanging from my mantle.
A better view of my little tag. (below)

And in this last one you can see the little flicker flame really well.

I love my little "light" package. You can do this type of thing with any little box. Fun isn't it.

FINAL PRODUCT REVIEW NOTES. (PART OF THIS KEEPS THE FEDERAL FOLKS HAPPY) My sample was sent from the UHU people at no charge for the purpose of my review of the adhesive. The UHU GLUE ROLLER design addressed the one issue I expected to have (the microdot system allowed for much cleaner terminations. )I tried it on several of the surfaces listed on the applications information on the package and found it to be effective for the all of the ones I tried. Definitely an adhesive I will add to my arsenal of goodies.

If you try a little light of mine package, please let me know. I would love to see other folks take on this idea.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Linen and Lace

I really have nothing this morning. I worked out. I watched biggest loser. I went to bed. I have a doctors appointment this afternoon to see what we can do about my asthma. I had a terrible attack on Monday night during bootcamp and it scared me enough to call the doc. We will see.

But even with nothing of my own, I have really pretty pictures in my flickr favs. Click on those linen and lace pincushion above and go see some beauty.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

sketchy ...

image above from Sarah Lugg.

(Please - if you know who's image this is, please let me know so I can give full credit.)

Sounds like a bad thing. It is not.

I often sketch ideas - layouts - etc. Here's the latest one.

I have invited 3 friends to my house for a crafty afternoon in February. Karla has posted about this kind of thing. Also, I kinda want a day just to play myself. This is gonna be really informal. I asked them to bring snackies - I am making veggie beef soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. We are going to do tag collages. I love Sarah Lugg's work (see above) and have collected images of tag collages from many sources. I love to work in paper and since I am the hostess with the mostess for this little gathering, that will be our medium.
I am also opening my studio stash to my friends, a way to clear out a few things and maybe help with some hoarding issues that we all know I have.
I am die cutting each of my buddies 25 tags and I have told them to think about what they will do that day.
I most likely will not get much creating done myself, so my collage will be the "sample" for the afternoon. (I will be making a smaller one that day for myself. )
Anyway - here is my sketch for the sample collage. My friends are not "paper" creators per se, so I'll be doing a series of posts about the process as we go. It will also help me (and them) get their ideas and material together. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Have a wonderful day all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It was cold outside......

11 degrees on Saturday morning when I pulled out of the drive for aerobics. That's COLD. I have four left feet - dance aerobics is going to be a coordination challenge for me. It will also be entertaining for those around me.

I have a couple of tidbits to share before I get to MaggieGrace accomplishments. I teach 3 and 4 year old Sunday school - love it and I love my kids. Even when they grow up and leave my class, I still love 'em. During our worship service we have a time for sharing and greeting. Yesterday one of my favorite former students gave me a smile when I went to hug him. Walker Johnson was "tattooing" his hand (and arm) and gave me a smile to take home with me. Isn't this a great note to have on your hand?

Now - this shot is for Jen. She adores shoes like I do. Look at these tiny tiny fur boots. Wish I could carry the snow princess look - Carley was all dressed in white with a fur collar and cuffs and these adorable boots.

Now for MaggieGrace accomplishments.

My kitchen is small. Light filled during the day, but when I am at the stove or sink at night, I work in shadow. The ceiling mounted flourescent fixture is behind me. (I am begging all of you to please overlook all the clutter in these pictures. Focusing on my home this year is going to work on some of that.)

Well several weeks back, I was thrifting and saw a light fixture. It was hideous - brass chain mounted. I left it at the thrift store. But that dang light fixture had decided it wanted to live at my house. I could not get it out of my mind. I finally gave in and went back - fixture still there - and at 10.00 it was a huge bargain. It was a quality branded light and the globes were intact. It did not look like anything I would have selected. Must have been either swagged or high ceiling mounted because the wire and chains were 6 feet long. Did I mention it was hideous brass?

So Saturday, I dragged it out and brushed it clean. Cut the chains off and taped the parts that did not need paint on them. I left the wires long because I had decided to use this as a lamp over the sink area. Living in a 100+ year old house makes it complicated to really wire a new fixture.

I spray painted that baby gloss black - using paint I had. I mounted a box to the ceiling. The Man at my Address wired it into a switch with an outlet and voila ----- one hideous brass light fixture now illuminates my sink and stove area. I love it......

That is condensation on the windows - they are dirty - but not THAT dirty. I swagged the two globes one lower in the back and a higher one to the front.

That shelf is next in here. The man can reach it easily (I can't) so he tends to stick shit up there. I also have a shelf purchased to make a pantry of sorts.

I loved the globes on this fixture from the second I saw them Look - beautifully frosted glass too.

Long term plans include fixing that rough spot on the ceiling (I want to put tin tiles up there.)

Last night I cooked dinner and cleaned up and was really happy about how 20.00 total including the ceiling box, switch, and wire could make such a huge difference.
Have a wonderful day ---

Friday, January 08, 2010

Enhancing a stereotype

They announced school closings the day before.

The following article was published in a local newpaper early this week.

And so it was on. I went to the grocery store on Wednesday evening to pick up goodies for the College Girls dorm room snacks. As posted yesterday - there was no bread or milk in the store - so apparently said store in the above article was not as well prepared as indicated.

Yesterday - late afternoon - the sky started spitting snow flurries. No serious snow - just a few flakes you had to look really hard to see. Local news spent hours detailing the event. The weather channel -had people posted all over the area for updates. School and business closings were being announced over the airwaves and posted in the bulletin strip at the bottom of the tv screen.

Oh shit - maybe I shoulda bought bread. (not even)

Well - this pix was taken this morning before daylight in my driveway. Yes it was cold - 21 degrees F - but that was the same as yesterday morning. Unfortunately -- I had to go to work.

You got it -- once again the stereotypical southerner has rushed out and brought extra bread and milk for the BIG SNOW EVENT. The amount of snow in my front yard did not even make it to the zero mark on the wooden ruler I was trying to measure with.

Friends and neighbors, I'm available for a sandwich supper if you have lots of excess bread in your homes (betting you do).

NOTE TO MY NORTHERN FRIENDS - I did not run out and purchase extra food for the event. I am smart enought to know that this is Georgia and the longest I might be "snowed in" is say ---- 6 hours. But the Softball Princess did enjoy sleeping in this morning since they called off school yesterday.


Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Repurpose - Reuse - Recycle

There is no scarcity of beauty. Madelyn Mulvaney

I was reading - studying - an old Somerset Studio magazine in the tub last night. Yes, I read in the tub. Yes, it's sometimes an issue when the book gets damp. Oh, well. In the back of this issue were some previews of articles in other Stampington publications, and this quote jumped of the page.

We all experience and interpret beauty differently. In my book, that keeps life interesting. I have really worked artistically a lot in the last year. My personal style has become more and more obvious. My color preferences - material preferences - even my studio set up changed as I discovered my art creation personality. I can see all of that evolving by looking through my posts since I started MaggieGraceCreates.

In addition the style in our home reflects each of our idea of beauty and comfort. It is not my home, it is our home and we all contribute to the decor and lifestyle there.

The Man at my Address, me, and the Softball Princess were all in the "big room" last night. I took a wall out before we moved in between the living and dining room making a 17 foot x 35 foot open room of the two. I was crocheting, the Man watching football, and the Softball Princess was doing homework at the dining table. We were all entertaining and loving on the dog. It was an easy - comfy night. I remarked about how HAPPY it felt. I was experiencing one of those BEAUTIFUL LIFE MOMENTS.

This immediately spurred my creativity and I had to MAKE SOMETHING NOW. All of us creative folks understand that urge. So I ran to the studio and gathered up some things. I wanted to work in the house so I could be part of the atmosphere in there.

In about 45 minutes (including gathering and glue drying time) I made two more things for the College Girl's new dorm room. Pretty much instant gratification.

I took a letter that she already had. It was covered in a bright colorful polkadot fabric. A friend gave it to her as a gift a long time ago. She had tucked it away, because it didn't match her new idea of beauty.

I stripped off the existing fabric.

Added some black and white scrapbook paper. Flipped it over and trimmed with an Xacto knife.
A new look for a tucked away item.

Another reuse item - I made framed door decor for College Girl and her roomie last year. Using paper and other items, I repurposed thrifted frames into dry erase boards. Well again, this had been tucked away. The teal paper didn't work with the new decor.

I took it apart. Again added scrapbook paper from the stash. Reused the letters for her name. Put it back together and left her a grocery message for this morning. (she got home really late and was going back this morning early)

It was dark and this looks kinda busy, but in reality it is great. She was thrilled. Alas, the wind caught this frame when she was packing her car and it is now scattered in the driveway. I'll just have to redo again.

I spent NO MONEY. I scratched that itch to create. I made College Girl happy. I worked in one of my favorite manners - USE WHAT I HAVE. How great is all that.

I have a beautiful life. I recognize it. I'm going to record it here. I want you to recognize your beautiful life too.

Oh and the weather people said that four letter word starting with S. In the south that means, no milk or bread in the supermarket. Crazy. Personally - I stocked up on beer (for the man), tequila (for me) and snack foods (for the Softball Princess). We are covered.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


No it is not what it sounds like. Well maybe it is.

We never planned for two children. I almost died having the College Girl and the doctors thought the problem would get worse with subsequent children. So we did not plan for the Softball Princess to join us. God has a wonderful sense of humour and we have the best surprise ever. Anyway......

College Girl was a toddler when we bought our house. Two bedrooms - no need for any more - wrong. Softball Princess came along and we packed her right into College Girl's room. There they have remained.

Don't feel sorry for either of them. They are happy and quite well adjusted. This old house has huge rooms. This shared space has two double beds, two closets, to chest of drawers, a desk and an entertainment center with room to spare. They get along great and readily share things. It was even traumatic when College Girl left Softball Princess alone to go off to college.

College dorm life -- roommate - sharing a bathroom with 3 other girls. Oh - and a lot less space and compatiblity between these girls. College Girl adjusted to the dorm life wonderfully - she just kept toilet paper in a basket on their side of the bathroom door because the other side refused to buy toilet paper. Apparently there was some sadistic pleasure in hearing someone scream for paper through the door and screaming back that "they sell it at dollar general."

Well the school has a brand new dorm - New Bedford Hall. For the first time she can remember, College Girl has a room of her own. Excited does not bgin to describe how she feels. Last night, the three of us, College Girl, Her Boy, and li'l ol' me, moved her in.

He moved the bed at least four times - the desk - the chest of drawers - the fridge. All the while, she changed her mind, over and over. Ladies do not laugh (oh what the hell - go ahead) every man has to endure this right of passage. The lady in his life and arranging a room. When I left them to make the WalMart run, he was moving the bed yet again, and they were discussing it adamently. I simply laughed and went on my errand.

We got her all set up. She went with a silver, black, and white decor. We managed to grab a few black and white ornaments in the after Christmas frenzy. I had taken the MaggieGrace tool kit and we hung and primped and shined all the stuff. The room suits her. She is so very very happy. She and Her Boy are still on speaking terms. It was a good night.

She was grateful that her mom brought that tool bag. Not every parent travels with bead wire and crimpbeads - to combine with command hooks and get all the decor done in one evening.

I am already missing her. Does she miss us? Not even. She's all stretched out in her own room singing at the top of her lungs --- ALONE AT LAST.

Have a wonderful day.

PS: add to her excitement. College Girl is going to Spain in the spring. Cool huh?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The first finish of the year

Baby Amelia's blanket. In a color called camo pink. Her daddy is an avid outdoorsman so the color is named appropriately.

It is a round blanket. More than likely a "church" blanket. All ruffled and girly looking. I love the ruffles and they fall wonderfully. Softball Princess wrapped a doll up in it and it is so sweet looking.
Here is a close up of those ruffles. Piles of them.

I miss my girls being little. They would never wear these kinds of ruffles now.

Last night was spent doing lots of looking at this...

It is cold here. 20 degrees F this morning. Cold for the southern US and the weather people are calling for teens and single digits by the weekend.

Oh and I am not alone in enjoying the fire.........

This is one spoiled rotten critter.

Moving the College Girl from one dorm to the other today. Then some MaggieGrace Goodness in front of Biggest Loser (and the fire).

I have a beautiful life.