Thursday, August 29, 2013

a creative break and a really sweet friend

I love junkin'
I mean I REALLY love junkin'.

So, a couple of weekends back, I blew off work on Friday. 

Took the Softball Princess for a followup visit to the oral surgeon. 
Wisdom teeth - all four - gone at one time. 
All good - well almost all good - she has a little numbness around her lip from some nerve damage. 

Anyway - after her appointment - piled into the big white truck and took off to the mountains. 

There were several junkin' stops and there was silverware bought. Along with some odds and ends. Just stuff. 

The ultimate destination - my friend Tipper's girls were playing a concert. Those twins, Chitter and Chatter, and their parents are such a blessing. 

Made it an overnight trip and took off on Saturday morning just looking for some more junk. 

Ended up at the flea market in Murphy, NC. Now this is a real flea market. We wound up spending some four hours there before taking off toward home. 

Blogger uploaded these strangely and I refuse to fight with the internet today. 
But here are some favorites from the trip.

I spied this box and knew it was most likely way too expensive for me to take home. It is all wood and has pencil markings on the edges of the little compartments. Made from bits of cigar boxes. And OMG they left the labeling on them. FELL IN LOVE  LUST. 
Then the guy said 5.00 ------ and I grabbed 5 bucks from my wallet and yes sir eee - this baby is MINE.

After the concert, Tipper said she had something for me. She brought me a gift. She is an artist as well as a gifted writer. It was a beautiful mixed media angel. I love her ---- and she will hang with some other angels and gifts from angels soon. 

This stunning pink and green cabinet stopped me in my tracks ---- just look at it. Now - I have ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE to put this. But it took a lot of self control to not buy it anyway. 

There were several gasps and giggles that escaped on this little trek. There was a tiny bit of tequila consumed. There was rest and relaxing. I really recommend taking a time out for yourself and just do something FUN. 

And an FYI the spending was well controlled - I think the flea market total was 38.00. 

Have a great weekend.  I'm heading out to a festival Saturday - more on that next week. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Baby Drake is coming.......

Twas a busy busy weekend for me. (There was NO napping)

Friday evening, I finished an art piece that will be posted later. 

Saturday AM I sealed it ---- I use ModPodge for my word art. In the southern humidity, it can get sticky, so after everything dries, I spray the pieces with a clear spray sealer. 

Took the Softball Princess to the doctor -

Took off to college girl's new apartment. 

Cut down a closet shoe shelf and made her three flower boxes from the wood. She wants to grow some fresh herbs for herself. 

Helped her paint a bookshelf. And made some wood stain using the vinegar and steel wool recipe. 

All that was Saturday afternoon. 

Return home - quick bite to eat  then to my studio to get ready for a Sunday afternoon baby shower. (I be the head of a one person decorating committee) 

I had pulled out all of my girls Beanie Babies and packed them up with some other display materials. 

And then I made a pennant banner 

And a hand full of paper pinwheels.

Each table had a different set of critters.

This was great fun.

Bats and iguanas

Some little birdies - not blue.

A little bit crabby.

Sweet puppies came too.

Mama Stork brought the bundle ----
 and the friends gathered round.

To Celebrate a baby ---- nothing sweeter can be found.

Welcome welcome baby Drake.

This squirrel centerpiece was my favorite - and there is a story behind this. A story involving a deep, heartfelt discussion one afternoon.

I was having a really important conversation with someone - a conversation about relationships, choices, decisions, money, children . A really important conversation. And I don't know why - even to this day - but my mind kinda derailed. Kinda derailed --- not even close to how this played out. My mind took a hard turn and left that conversation with this question

"Have you EVER seen a squirrel shit?"

Let's just say there was stupid hysterical laughter - THANK GOD THE PERSON I WAS TALKING WITH HAS A SIMILAR TWISTED SENSE OF HUMOR.

Now we use the phrase to call attention to the fact that a conversation is not getting us anywhere.

Either of us will say --- "are you watching for squirrel shit?"

I'm ending this one with a picture of one of my favorite littles --- This is Canaan (BabyCane) --- and he is a sweet sweet baby.

Check out those big blue eyes.

Here is hoping that your week has started as lovely as mine. It is a beautiful day here.

Happy Monday ---

Oh - and as we approach September - I'm thinking on doing the SIMPLY SIMPLE SEPTEMBER again.

Low key - SIMPLE posts. Little projects - simple recipes - noticing beautiful details ---- life SIMPLY appreciated.

Please play along. I'll most likely do mine on INSTAGRAM as well as here - so if you want to follow me I am here ------ maggiegracecreates

Friday, August 23, 2013

A MaggieGraceWorld playdate

This is Luke ----

He calls me Miss Teresa (or Miss T)

I'm blessed to have him in my life.

He spent the summer a Y Camp, but the camp ended before school started back. His Mom and I talked about it and I took a day off to babysit Luke.

I put babysit in parenthesis for lots of reasons

1. Luke is not a baby.
2. Having him is not work at all.
3. I really get to play all day when I have him.

Well on this day, the weather sucked ---- rainy and muddy and generally gross.

Well Miss T has this great place to play. So off to the studio we go. Luke loves to make things.

This time he picked an unfinished box to make a treasure box.

I grabbed an old tshirt and popped it over his clothes and then let him go.

He painted his box - then lined it with paper.

Add fun stickers and we have a cool little box.

I can't figure out my deal though. I have the hardest time using some of my stuff. Saving the "good stuff" for whatever reason. But invite a guest into the studio - I honestly have no anxiety at all about what they might use from the stash. Wondering why that is?

Anyway, I captured this great image of Luke Boy concentrating so hard on his project. This may be one of my favorite pictures of him.

I'm glad he's a part of my life and I can't wait to spend another day "babysitting" for him......

Have a great weekend ---- I've got lots planned for mine.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


So I saw a pin and I followed the link and I found this image.
I do not know how long ago. 
But I guess the idea stuck in my brain. 


I thrifted this wooden tray. Well made, kind of blah, but at 1.99 well worth the expense. And I knew I could make something  better of it. 

Rode it around in the car for a few several days.

What is it about the muse named --- THAT'S IT, THAT'S WHAT WILL WORK.

So I scrubbed it with plain old soapy water. Let it dry and painted it with a bit of Pantone Paint Sample
in Whitecap Grey  which Pantone describes as a classic - off white. 

I love this color and in my work of late I am seeing that I much prefer a low color - low contrast look. 

I've also recently used Valspar Twine (has some pink undertones) and Valspar Tightrope (very similar to the whitecape grey)  as well. 

Then I used my modpodge and some sheet music and covered the inside of the tray. 

Once that dried , I sprayed the modpodge area with some clear sealer too keep it from getting sticky in the sweet southern hunidity.


I found jar lids and rings in my stash (imagine having two boxes of those??? .I'm sure I was planning to can or make jelly in the past.)

I stamped a music pattern imprint on some mulberry paper. Cut circles to fit my lids and using plain old Elmers white glue , glued them into the jar lids.

I stamped the back of some vintage ticket with the words - journey, rejoice, faith, and dream.

More glue - this time UHU glue stick. Love that stuff.

I then had to the most awful part of this task --- she smiles as she types this. I dug through the buttons in only ONE of my button containers. I found similarly sized and tones brown buttons and glued them in place using Alene's Tacky Glue.

This will be used to display pendants at craft shows.  24 compartments - an almost perfect fit. Nothing is permanently attached to the tray except for the decoupaged music. And the lids even come out of the rings so i can easily change that part too.

Versatile - and as the compartments are emptied, it is still pretty to look at too.

This was a fun little project.

More fun stuff to come.

(notes - I am spending a lot of time in the studio of late. I worked hard to fix it to be usable and comfy for me. I am using up stash constantly and that is a good thing too. It's also a really place for pondering and sorting out details of my life. Its a wonderful thing. And when the MUSE shows up to play --- well that it just Icing on the Cake.)

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I've been very productive of late. This is a good - no GREAT thing. 

I've got a big stash of the composition books and a ton of ideas for them. 

But when I sit down and start on them - sometimes I just stall out. 

The two I'm featuring today were STALLED - seriously stalled for a bit. 

See that blue paper background? HEAD OVER HEELS for that paper. Looks like old old crackled wood. and I was determined to use it. 

So I covered the front of the book and then could not find any embellishments to go with it. 

I thought and I dug and I pondered and fretted.

Then  remembered a box (SOMEWHERE) that I had hardware in. Old doorplates and pulls type of hardware. 

Found the box and this old doorplate. I scrubbed it up and sprayed it with some sealer. But what to do about the keyhole - the lock was long gone.

I scrounged around and found this stamp. It is patterned after old postmarks. I stamped it and glued behind the plate. Then I filled it in with 3d paper glaze. Fun and perfect.

Glue onto the cover. I really really like this one a lot.

Another one that stalled (and that I almost just left without anything on it) was the old measuring tape one.

This is a great paper - with glossy and embossed areas - featuring these old measuring tapes.

Again - I pondered and dug.

For some reason - this felt like an old general store kind of thing.

Gather - old receipts from a dry good store (1920's receipt) and some from a traveling salesman to a lumber company (1950's)

I had a torn bit of a tape measure  - and a polite "collection notice" sticker (thank you MaryAnn)

But for some reason this felt unfinished.

So I left it and came back to it later.

I found some shims I had tucked away and stamped them with some block numbers. (8-15 happens to be my grandmothers birthday - The Man's grandmother's birthday - AND my daughter's birthday)

But they were not exactly the right color ---- GlimmerMist - great stuff and they now have it at JoAnn's.

I sprayed the shims and knew this was perfect.

Pile it all up - and glue it down.


Hope you guys have a great day.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A little Paris Romance

If we go to Hobby Lobby and you lose me, wait in the clearance aisle, I'll ALWAYS show up there before i leave. 

Several months back, I cruise that aisle and spot these bracelet blanks with heart shaped blanks. I bought all that were there at 1.99 each. And yes, you are right, I had no idea what I was gonna do with these. 

I tucked them in the pocket of my bead findings bag with just a heart sticking out of the top of the pocket and every time I looked at that bag on the shelf, I pondered. 

I didn't have bezels this size. HMMMM.

The Packaging did not have a template for the heart shape HMMMM.

Think - think - think

Well the muse has moved back into MaggieGraceWorld of late and I had a brainstorm. Taking a piece of chalk and a thin square of paper, I made myself a little heart shaped template rubbing. 

Then dug in the scraps and found a page of French words from somewhere. 

Cut 10 and glue them right in. 

The paper was WAY too bright white. So after gluing them in, I sprayed the hearts with bronzed GlimmerMist and let them dry. I love how the shimmer gathered at the edges of the hearts. HAPPY ACCIDENT.

After all of that dried, I went digging in my buttons and found some dark grey, Mother of Pearl buttons with hints of gold and brown streaking.

Added them using clear drying paper glaze.

Let it dry overnight and lookie here -------One Paris Romance heart bracelet.

Now to decide what to do with the other three I bought - I'm thinking this is an excellent way to use a few more paper scraps.

Feedback welcomed. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

journaling supply

Feels so good to be back in the studio on a regular basis. 

Now I have several projects in the house that need attention to - but for right now there is just a LOT happening in MaggieGraceWorld. 

I have had quite successful sales of my altered composition books. They start with those old fashioned - black and white speckled - composition books. Then I add STUFF. (God knows I have stuff)

Here are three of the latest ones I have finished. 

 I called this one Notions - a gold colored scrapbook paper for the covering - and including a scrap of a sewing pattern instruction sheet - a travel sewing kit - ribbon reel end, snap display card, and a short piece of a tape measure.

This one I called copper rust - the paper looks like rusty tin. (I think I have one more sheet of this paper)
I added a strip of crinkled up copper flashing and a rusty metal star.

Here's the detail from this one - the oval "inspire" is a scrapbook embellishment.

I posted this on my instagram  the other night. This was my Daddy's ring. He made it from a stainless steel fork. And here I am,  many many years later, making jewelry from vintage flatware.

Have a great day all. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

glimpses of MaggieGraceWorld

I thought I might just share a few thoughts about having my own creative space. 

I did have help turning the old cotton house into a studio, help for the HEAVY lifting kind of stuff. But a lot of it, well I did a LOT of it myself. 

I also did every single bit of the space with cash - as I had the extra money. There is so much satisfaction in that little tidbit. I had wanted a space and wanted a space, but there was always the SOMETHING that came up, putting mom's little project on the back burner. 

Several years ago, I devised a plan to convert an old cotton house on our property into MaggieGraceWorld.


As I approach this door, I can already feel a change in my thought process. Many times, I have an idea of what I want to accomplish. Sometimes not. I absolutely love working in here.

Note - the flag folk art was a long ago gift from a friend of mine --- LIZ LAMPE.

I try to get some time in the Studio (also known as The Barn or MaggieGraceWorld) every day. Even if its, just to put a couple of things back into their place. (note - the putting back is something I am seriously trying to work on becoming a habit.)

If I happen to be in there around the sunset hour, I try to step to the stoop and watch for a few minutes.

For the picture below, I actually came out into the yard and took a photo of the sunset being reflected in the clouds behind the studio.

I do a ton of mix media work. Jewelry, paper craft, fabric work, crochet. I got STUFF to work with --- and tools. Now, I'm not one of those have to have the latest and greatest newfangled tools. I have had the same paper cutter for years and I still use my Sizzix original die press from about 12 years ago too.

I caught this glimpse the other evening while I was working on some altered composition books. Plain old scissors, needle nosed pliers, the steel plate I use to stamp metals, and a hammer. The hammer is like one my Nanny always kept in the kitchen drawer. It was given to me by a wonderful friend. I really don't know if I ever fully expressed my gratitude for that meaningful gift. But every time I use it, I think of the gift and the giver and lift a prayer for thankfulness for the blessings of friendship. Every single time.

This picture also includes a glimpse of the plywood surface of my work table. I had a free cart that was saved from the scrap yard. I described an idea for a top to fit it and voila - a work surface was born. again - created from scrap and at minimal cost.  The cart it fits rolls out of the way for cleaning and making a little more space. PERFECTION.

Now about the name MaggieGrace Creates and MaggieGraceWorld.

This hangs over the air conditioner in the studio. Cherished. Heartfelt. Also a gift of love.

Here is the MaggieGrace story.

My studio is special to me. My studio is not fancy. No where near what you visit on the Where Bloggers Create kinds of tour, but my how I love this place.

I had someone once say that it looked like their childhood picture of Santa's workshop. I'm considering that one of the ultimate compliments ever.

I sure hope that you might consider coming by my house and joining me in MaggieGraceWorld at some point. I'm betting we will find something to do.

Monday, August 05, 2013


There's a certain little Princess in our life. 

She turned five on July 31.

Every princess needs crowns.

So I made her five of them for her birthday.

A simple blue one (for everyday wear)

A fairy veil one --- just in case she goes out to play with the fairies. 

White sparkly lace - angelic almost. Hmmmm - maybe some wings are in order too.

Crochet roses - for a garden party.

And the perfect special occasion one - all sparkles and hearts. 

I'm not sure which one is my favorite. 

What about you?