Friday, August 31, 2012

Sparkle and Shine

A long time ago, I posted about using the "good stuff". See, like all creative souls, I hoard my greatest finds for that moment, person, or event that I deem worthy of using those things. 

I think my daughter's wedding is that kind of event!!!

And it just happens that she was interested in

a vintage look (check) 

Lace (check) 

Eclectic feel (check) 

Saving money by doing a lot of it ourselves (check, check, check)

So we start pinning -- and digging through the stuff. Let's just say creative mom has a really deep pile of hoarded stuffs (all being saved for that perfect event

Things like chandelier drops. Super nice papers. Beads from her Great Grandmother's stash (there is a long line of us gatherers) Props and such from her Nomi (she's in this line too) 

And I am overwhelmed. 

But I have started a calendar/checkoff list for this here project. And I and recording my musings and progress here. 

Last night I was making the dangly bits (imagine that - the spell checker does not like the word dangly) and thinking about how readily I am pulling materials out of the stash to use. I took the picture below a pile of prisms and some of the most stunning paper I have in my stuff. 

Then this morning, I decide to play with the image using BeFunky (its free online)

OOOOH look --- that is so freaking pretty. 

So then I made it my Facebook cover. Just because I like it. 

Back to the work at hand. I want to finish this light fixture this weekend. 

I made the top tier of dangly bits (there is that squiggly red line again) and attached them last night. 

Confession - I made six versions and went back to dig for goodness before I was happy with these. 

They do look like I imagined hanging on the fixture. 

Ya'll have a great weekend --- 

I plan to. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

a little light work.....

 I thought the title was cute.

I've been hunkered down on one of the showpiece items for the wedding. Actually the "centerpiece of the altar" I think.

That danged beaded candolier.

I am making some serious progress.

And I have cleaned and cleaned and not got the area where more than one person can work.

Last night as I sat down to do more work I looked and thought about how pretty all the jars and pearls looked just sitting there on the dining room table. So I captured that moment.

I'm wondering about making a blurb book of these behind the scenes images. Is that something we might enjoy having later?

Mind you -- this is a seriously cropped image -- that's to protect the identity of the dog -- just kidding.  It is a serious mess all around this area.

I worked on drapey things on the candolier late late again last night. I've been through some tough things at the beginning of the year and was not able to focus, but since the beach trip, I have been able to get in the creation zone. Serious zone. This is a good thing. 

I also started working on the dangly bits. 

I'm not happy with those yet, but it is a start. 

I thought this was a very neat view through the light fixture at one of the drops.

What am I going to do with this lovely candolier once this wedding is over???????

The best part of last night's progress was the response that the bride-to-be text me after I sent her a picture last night ----

she sent back one word --- PRETTY!

If she likes it, the effort will be completely worth it.

Goal -- to finish this baby this weekend so the Crusty Old Guy can build the arbor.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

next details.......

The bride-to-be wants an ADVICE box on the guest table.

We pinned the image above.

Then -- when I was shopping for the typewriter at my mama's house, I remembered she had a set of vintage samsonite luggage. So I snagged her train case.

The bride-to-be is not super excited about the color of the interior. She also does not want the mirror to show. So right now Mom is pondering exactly what to do...

Updates coming.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh Isaac --- I have a headache.

(Photo -- blatantly scarfed from the interweb images files)

I live in northeast Georgia.

I have weather related migraines.

Low pressure situations in particular really trigger them.

Oops -- that lovely spinning around in the Gulf of Mexico --- the one with rain bands already reaching north Georgia --- well he is a serious version of a low pressure situation.

So, MaggieGrace has not too much to give today.

She is taking drugs that make her feel fogged and stupid --- trying to work and not be really irritable with those around her.

Again I say --- Oh Isaac, I have a headache.

Monday, August 27, 2012


The process of this DIY wedding stuff is daunting. I can see hours and hours unfolding --- 

I will be documenting this process  as we go --- hope you do not get too tired of the central focus in my world right now. 

Way back here, you got a glimpse of the beginning of the candolier.

It got painted white. 

I bought strings of pearl beads at JoAnne's Fabrics. 

I spent a huge part of my weekend sniffing Tacky Glue and going round and round and round. 

The drops got beaded.

Then the arms got beaded --- If you look closely in the picture above you will see that I put plexiglass circles in the cups to give us a level surface for the candle holders. 

Then I took it down to do some work on the hanging bracket - the bottom needed to be suspended because sitting it down was causing parts to bend.

So I looked and looked and found a suitable holder

I studied the progress and just did not like one detail -----

Look carefully in the picture below. The pearls I wrapped everything in were making the plain "bright" white paint bother me. I just didn't like it ----- so I pondered and fretted and came up with .......

( note - i had started painting this one before i thought to take a pic. -- the trick I decided to use really works nicely.)

A moment of sheer brilliant thinking --- and off to the drugstore I went.

Bottles of Revlon PURE PEARL nail polish.

I've painted several of the exposed details with it already and there will most likely be locations painted.

It really does make a difference in the richness of the look.

Then there were these places  --- the bare hooks. What to do?????

Shiny embroidery floss. (lets just say however ---- these were a pain in the ass.)

And last - here is the top with it's pretty beaded rounds.

Tonight I'll be stringing pearly and silver bits for the draping ...

Have a wonderful day --- you will be able to find me later stringing along.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


In the meeting with the bride-to be, she said she wanted a vintage typewriter on the guest book table.

I google search for them just to see how much money we were looking at.anywhere from 25.00 to 300.00. Really that was a waste of my time, because I happened to know where --------

This one was.

At my mama's house. A phone call and a trip to see her and it is in my possession.

Been stashed in the attic and the corner of her studio storage room for many years, so it needs cleaning.

But for FREE --- I can clean it --- don't you think.

One more item off the list.

Monday, August 20, 2012


The bride-to-be will soon be adopting a new last name.

The wedding inspiration color is a vintage aqua Christmas ornament.

She will be tying her ring pillow to the groom's grandfather's scriptures.

Mom was tasked to create a ring pillow.

Saturday morning - these old eye's travelled out to my porch swing. We spread out and started to bead. I used a cross-stitch monogram snagged from a sampler pattern that I love.

Using delica seed beads from fire mountain in a color called silver lined turquoise, I stitched and beaded away.

I worked for about an hour and got to the point above.

Then cleaned the living room -- I am trying to get the living/ dining room to a point where I can use it as a work room for the next several months.

After I cleaned, I made a quick trip to Royston and ended up sitting on the sofa and beading some more.

These tiny seed beads are a pain to stitch on. One at a time --- and many times the needle was too big to go through the eye of the bead. This caused cussing and other mutterings under my breath. But I finished the monogram on Saturday evening ---

Kinda looks like the one Laverne had on her sweater in the Laverne and Shirley show (late 70's thru early 80's).

There is a pin on my pinterest board for the completed ring pillow design. Lets just see if Mom can make this happen.

At least this one comes with out mention of "fail" so far.

Wedding bells on my mind.

Friday, August 17, 2012


A DIY wedding ----- on a seriously small budget.

At least we still have a great attitude about the wedding details.

And the Bride-to-Be and I seem to work well together.

Oh - and there is the wonderful thing available.

It's my version of internet porn (wonder how many google searches will wind up here on that search?)

That wonderful thing ---- PINTEREST

Enough back story.

The Bride-to-Be wanted a "ring for a kiss" bell. Our Spin on this was a small bell that the bridesmaids could move all over the room randomly during the reception. Here is the pinned idea image.

 Enter crafty Mom - who's alter ego happens to be MaggieGrace - and a brainy ass idea.

I just happened to have in the stash a six flags souvenir bell - similar to the kennedy one pictured below (I stole this picture off Ebay)

I also own spray paint and a screwdriver --- oh and some embellishy stuff to ------

OOOOH -- this will be easy - Mom says.

use the screwdriver to pry off the little logo sticker
use same screwdriver and take cute little bell apart
spraypaint bell really pretty glossy white.
add strange little beady things to the area that used to say SixFlags
trim bottom of bell with glass beaded trim
use same screwdriver and reassemble the cute little bell.

See ---

Step back and sigh --- "how pretty"

text the Bride-to-Be about how pretty it is.

So why is this a FAIL ------

Well -- about that.

Pick up cute little bell and jingle it.

Shake it harder.

put it down and pick it up and try again.

Stomp snort cuss.

The damned bell won't ring.

Yes the clapper is there.

Yes it is reassembled correctly.

The problem --- think that the layer of spray paint has killed the wonderful little tinkle of the bell. It now just kind of thuds.

Now for the glorious news --- it is similar to the first fail in that it worked out ok.

I was going to chunk the bell - but being the full blown crafter that I am, I determine to save the little glass bead bling around the bottom, so I peel it off.

On the way to the trash can, I am shaking my head and laughing at this FAIL. I get to the garbage -- shake the bell one more time and ----- the damned thing jingles.

It was the trim that killed it, not the paint.

Well -- fail number two averted.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reality Bites???

I am a woman of a certain age.

My Oldest Daughter is 22 today.

That makes her older than me.

Just Kidding.

I was twenty five when she was born - you can do that math.

In the twenty two years I have gained and lost about 3000 pounds.

I have had bright red (I'm talking coke can red)  "spiked" hair. Blonde hair. Dark hair.

I've tanned and then become a "serious white chick"

I've survived cancer twice.

I've made mistakes as her mother -- well, as her sister's mother too.

And as a matter of fact --- the accessories below are now a NECESSARY item in my life.

Those are reading glasses --- I keep a pair on my desk at work. On the table by my chair at home. In my purse. In the console of my car. I am not ashamed of the fact that I need them. My life is full. I do not want to miss a thing. And if that means I need these to help me see - then so freaking be it.

But Just so everyone knows --- I try to buy the cute ones.

I may be old, but I still have a personality.

Now go here to see some of the pictures of me before I started boot camp. I am still going. It makes me feel better about me. I am still overweight and struggling to lose some more.

The fact that I lost a major organ and my adrenal gland to cancer is contributing to the weight issue.

But I still go and I work out ---- I work out HARD --- in the heat and the rain and the southern humidity. I sweat and I complain and yet, honestly, I cannot wait to go back the next time.
Note - the picture below was taken almost a year ago.

I felt healthy then too.

The picture below is from the color run this spring --- yes I am now considering myself a runner. Why --- because I get out there 4 days a week and shuffle my feet and cover a distance instead of sitting on my sofa and watching biggest loser and thinking "you know, I could do some of that."

I worked out Monday evening --- I came home and caught a glimpse of me in the mirror. For the first time since I can remember, the reflection of who I am was REAL, it was POWERFUL, it didn't SCARE me. I mused at that moment -- damn, you grew up ok.

So here is that moment --- no make up --- no fussing to fix my hair --- lots of grey shining in my natural red tones --- freckles --- crinkles around my blue eyes --- a bit of extra chin --- a tiny little smirk. This is me. I am strong. I am healthy. I am capable. I am worthy. I am lovable. A dammit I've lived fully and I am gonna keep doing just that.

Reading glasses and all.

Have a wonderful Wednesday

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wow -- we got a LOT done

This was THE weekend. Last Saturday we ordered the wedding dress. This past Saturday was a sit down and go through the Pinterest boards and narrow down the DIY details we wanted for sure to use.

Now we go to work. I am sure you are going to be sick of all these details but sorry -- this blog is about my life and this wedding is my life as of right now.

Before I jump into the very first of the decided DIY details, I'm going to share my Sunday morning activity with you. I teach a 3 & 4 year old Sunday school class. Breaking the Bible lessons into things the kids can understand and keep the their attention on is a challenge. Add to that Miss Teresa is known for accomplishing way cool craft ideas for each lesson.

Yesterday was about Jesus having the children brought to him and how Jesus Loves us -- ALL of us.

For the craft to illustrate the lesson, I went to the MaggieGrace studio stash.

I gathered Alphabet Metal Stamps - small Hammers - tiny acrylic frames - purple paper - and some copper flashing pieces.

Show the three year old kids how to hit the stamps with the hammer and then I sacrificed the safety of my fingers.


The result -- these cute little framed reminders and I had every item in the stash.

Note - I donate almost every craft material we use to this class. Have for many years. This is a small community and the church has limited income. It is part of how I share my blessings. I gather materials from all kinds of sources. So some of this may have been scavenged or gifted or purchased. Again - my way of sharing blessings.

Onto wedding stuff. The Sparkler Sendoff has been decided for quite some time and I had been searching wedding blogs and pinterest for an idea to use for the items. Then I saw the image below.

 pinterest source

While we were at the beach, I discovered a huge jar (literally a jar) of shipping tags, which I bought for 5.00

Here is my interpretation of the pin above. I did the sample in "my" colors - not the wedding colors. I certainly did not want to waste the wedding colored papers on something that the Bride-to- Be may not like. Dang paper is going to be one of the biggest expenses.

We have made adjustments to the design - they will be stacked sideways for display so the box of matches will be turned the other way. And they will be made in the blues, whites, silver, and grey of the wedding colors.

Looking for friends proficient in the use of stamps - glue sticks - and scissors ------

Have a great week --- much love and many blessings

Friday, August 10, 2012

The beach muse ......

I ALWAYS take a stash of craft goodies when I go somewhere. Be it for an afternoon or a weeks vacation, there will always be a few minutes for creating something. As this trip turned out, there was a good bit of time for the creative muse to come and play.

Took some vintage silverware bits left from making bracelets and some jewelry findings.

The result ---- earrings and several pendant drops.

Months ago I found some instructions for origami butterflies at the Todolwen blog. Karen Bailey has a beautiful blog and her style is so in tune with mine. I will not share the instructions for the butterflies here, but the link sends you straight to her tutorial and let me tell you, it is wonderfully well written and illustrated.

I have a huge stash of papers left from making paper snowflakes and I packed them as well. I did find after making the first one that I needed a small clip to hold a glued fold while it dried and then to hold the wire antennae while they dried. I used mini bobby pins, and a pill bottle of those gems is now a part of the tool kit.

Anyway -- here is the result of my interpretation of the origami butterfly. WARNING -- these are super addictive to make.

Walking on the beach I found a pair of angel wing shells -- teeny tiny ones. I snagged them and knew already what they would be used for. A spoon collage. Yes -- I had the stash for it with me.

It wasn't quite dry when I took this but the quote was cut from the bitty bits of the music pages. It says "courage to sing with the whole heart"

Recently a very good friend of mine who had never sang out loud found the courage to sing to me. I know this was a fear for this friend and I recognized the courage it took to face that fear. The decision was heartfelt and the song choice was wonderful and familiar and I found myself joining in the song as well. With tears in our eyes, we sang together. It was a beautiful, forever special moment and I wanted to pay tribute to that moment in a permanent way.

So, thank you my wonderful friend for letting me be a part of your finding the courage to sing with your whole heart.

I also made tags  -- and there will be lots more of these.

I have an altoid tin that I toss in a few die cut shapes in. Whenever I am punching shapes and have a bit of paper left I do a few more and toss them in the tin. I have a flower die from spellbinders (it is no longer available and I can't find it on their website) and I had punched a few in assorted sizes from from heavy weight red paper.

To make the dimensional flower - I dampened the paper shapes. (Confession I laid them in the bottom of the sink after I washed the dishes and let them soak up water from the still damp sink  - lazy girls craft method) Then I cupped my hand and sorta mushed them into a cup shape in my palm. (highly technical technique there - huh) Sit out on the counter to dry and for my condo mate to ask questions like "what the hell" and "why are these here" oh and "what you gonna do with those"

 I spritzed a white tag with glimmer mist. (Mel's Diner  limited edition glimmer mist)

Nested the dried flower shapes and punched a hole thru the middle (note this was not the right time to punch that hole - should done that while they were flat.) then secured the nest with a brad and glued it to the tag.

Then punched a butterfly from the tag and added wire antennae and perched it on the flower. I'm loving it.

(One more note -- my travel craft box is an older version of this Stanley Mobile Work Box -- it holds a whole lotta stash)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

bucket list

If your nickname is LBF or Crusty Old Guy, then you know that visiting and climbing lighthouses is a bucket list entry. I really want to visit all of the lighthouses on the East Coast and climb them if they are open to the public.

There are 203 steps to the top of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. Yes we climbed them. Had to stop at the first landing to acclimate to the heavy, stifling air inside.

but look at the view from the top.......

Absolutely breathtaking.

One the way home there was a stop at the St Augustine Lighthouse. We were there before they opened and wait to climb this one. Maybe next trip.

We could see this lighthouse and wound our way down into the backways to the Amelia Island / Fernandina Beach Lighthouse. This was closed and further investigation shows that this one is only open to the public a few days a month and that you cannot climb the stairs at all. It is the oldest Lighthouse in Florida. This lighthouse remains in full operation and the coast guard is responsible for operation of the beacon today.

Now this wonderfully blurry and horrible picture below is just a "pin" so to speak. I've been trying to decide my porch ceiling color and I think I am going with what will now be called "lighthouse grey" in my world. I think I'll use this on the porch floors too. with my white house - black or dark green shutters and RED doors.

I sure did enjoy these little visits and want to visit more.

Here is a list of US Lighthouses by State

Here is a list of Florida Lighthouses

More to come on this trip.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A weeks rest

 Been to the beach.

Toes in the water. Ass in the sand.

Salt air. Sea breezes. Sounds of the surf.

Saw the sky pink up EARLY every morning.

Oh the joys of beaing at the beach with morning people.

Coffee club on the pool deck at 7 am.

We arrived for coffee a few minutes early every day.

In time to see the sunrise.

Each new day, I counted blessings.

Really, those blessings are almost as plentiful at the grains of sand on the beach.

Something about salt water - in the form of the ocean, or sweat, or tears - is very healing.






All of that lead to some very restful nights.

And much to every one's relief, I didn't even howl at the sight of the full moon.

More posts about the activities and such to come.

For now, I sure hope you enjoy the beauty of God's creation.