Monday, July 31, 2006
August - I will be using only what I have on hand for crafting/swapping. On my trip, I realized that I really need to purge some stuff before I really get the studio up and running. I packed several bags AND the rolling craft box for my trip and did get some crafting goodness in. I was looking at notes in my inspiration books and realized that it had been several months since the USE WHAT YOU HAVE challenge. I was effective in completing that challenge, so I am committing to doing it again for the entire month of August.
Any takers along with me?
The one thing I have learned about me is that putting things in this form (the blog form) reinforces the behavior/action in a big way. Somehow makes me more accountable.
Like the ATC indulgence project. Look this week for updates on that. I have assigned everyone's word group and started on the designs. I will post the teaser stuff on that soon.
Come on - join me. It will be fun and the impact on my checkbook will be dramatic.
Have a beautiful day.
I am so proud of these girls. North Georgia Fury 12U ASA Nationals 4th place finishers. They played with grace, heart, soul, and the true competitive spirit that makes winners. These girls are a class act.
This is where I have been all week and weekend. Ridgeland, Mississippi for this national softball tournament. Our first really big tournament and what an experience. I won't discuss the negatives because that's not worth even going over (there were some but not many.) But we played ball in that MS heat for 5 days, and our girls left all they had on the field.
We had many laughs, a few tears, and lots of hard work to get here. Thank you FURY girls. Thank you FURY coaches. Thank you FURY families. Thank you FURY fans and supporters. This ride took everyone of us. This ride was stressful at times. This ride was rewarding always.
We left at 5:00 am Tuesday - we got back around 9:00 pm Sunday. A long week in 90+ temps at unbelievable humidity levels. Even the commercial dryers at the laundromat did not dry the clothes well. Forget make up - it immediately slid off your face. And sweaty clothes were the uniform of each day.
I will be posting stories all week, but I really wanted to let my blog world know how well the girls played. How proud I am of all of them. I really am glad I have had the opportunity to get to know each of them.
Fury families you are a genuine blessing in my life and in the lives of others.
Have a beautiful day.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Wow - Horrible photo angle. Okay so photography is not a strength.
This shelf hangs above the piano in the dining room. Antique upright piano - needs work - nobody at my house plays. Another post.
The shelf has a beautiful cherry stain and it is designed as an over the toilet shelf with a flip down drawer sized for toilet paper. I keep candles in there.
Any way this picture is for you to see more of "ME" and what I like. The creamers are all that heavy commercial solid white ironstone. I love the weight of anything made from this and the white is so versatile. It is getting harder and harder to find. Some of the creamers were my dad's and I have purchased some. They are in all sizes and I would love to find more. I don't think I paid more the 1.50 for any of them.
The bowls were Mama Norvan's who was absolutely one of the neatest people I have ever known. I know this type of pottery has a name, but I don't have a clue what it is. I really like the pink and teal striped one.
I am in a wonderful frame of mind today. I am grateful for my home and family. I have people who love me and support me. I have those I can lean on. I have those who can lean on me. I have been blessed with friendship beyond comparison. I am in a position to be generous with my time and resources. All in all - I have a beautiful life.
I wish you all a beautful life too. Have a beautiful day.
Yes - it's Friday. I know I should post photos of the inside of the Studio, but me and the black snake have a difference of opinion about me going in. I know he is there and I am not startled by him, but I choose not to spend time in his company. This may be the most interesting part of this renovation. Evicting the snake. I will paint things light colors so I can see him if he chooses to return.
The top picture is the of the door latch on the building. I love the ingenuity of this kind of thinking. It is created from an old "U" bolt, part of some unknown farm equipment, and a railroad spike. I hate that we are goint to lose this door. I am changing the door to a traditional glass windowed door that I can lock and will help with the light in here. I will keep the tin off this one though and make something from it. The latch assembly will find a new use too. Funny - when I look at this picture I see that brown and grey do match. That is a color combo I would never have put together - but look at the beauty of the weathered surfaces. Do you ever wonder if non-creative people see things like creative people? Do others "NOTICE" details like that?
The second picture is something I started on the spur of the moment last night. In an earlier post, I had a list of things to accomplish. Too many. But listing them helped and I have narrowed down the list significantly. One of the things was a baby gift for Lori. She is having a girl too. So I had to come up with something for her. I picked up a back of scraps at a thrift store sometime back because it had some vintage linens in it. There were also several short pieces of acrylic worsted weight yarn and, in the remant bin of Hancock Fabrics, I grabbed several pieces of polar fleece for 1.00 each. I have a piece of this soft pink and another in baby blue. I am thinking on a scalloped edge for each and sewing on the quick crochet flowers in multiple colors for blankets. I know the blue sounds a little boyish but strewn with flowers I think it will be okay. And - I will be using what I have. I can also crochet these in the car on this trip next week, and sitting and stitching at the field will pass the time too.
I have the list of craft items to take. My focus is going to be the ATC indulgence project. I have everyone's words assigned and am sketching the plan for each card. I bought a rolling toolbox many years ago and it will be full of crafty goodness. I plan to spend my evenings in the hotel room working on this project. It it not very portable so I'll spread out and leave it. Does anyone else out there ALWAYS travel with a project?
See, I am still creating. I hope you all are having a pleasant summer. It's close to 100 everyday here and that horrid southern humidity. Your makeup melts off as you step out the door. Forget panty hose - its almost impossible to peel them on and off. I also hate that feeling of my underwear sticking to me. I am ready for fall and those much nicer days.
Back to work I must go. As always - have a beautiful day.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
This is another completed item off my list. The baby shower. I originally was going to use a princess and the pea theme. But then I made the lambkins and they were too cute. So here is the centerpiece in its finished format. The candles are incredibly easy as well.
Instructions for the lamb can be found at www.patternbee.com.
To do the candles.
Find the size of column candles you want to use.
Find tissue paper in a pattern or color you love.
Cut the tissue paper to fit around the candle - it needs to meet in the back but not overlap.
Lay the candle on its side.
Line up the tissue paper and hold against the candle.
Using your heat gun (doesn't everyone have one) heat starting at one edge and slowly roll
the candle as you heat through the tissue paper. The wax will bleed through the
paper and over the edges to adhere the tissue to the candle.
You can use with just the tissue applied or then embellish with pinned on ribbon and
This process will also work with plain paper copies. Pages from books, etc.
I have no idea where I saw this process originally, but I have used it to make custom candles for wedding showers, parties, baby showers, and various gifts.
Nancy, if you are reading this, you are a beautiful woman and an incredible mother. Haley and Mack - you are going to be fantastic siblings for baby Addison. Jonathan - thank you for providing a Godly father image to your family and to others around you. You are a beautiful, inspiring family and we love you all very much. Can't wait for the princess to get here.
Hope everyone has a beautiful day.
The scarf is an easy ballfield project. Even in the Georgia heat, it was fun to work on. Small granny squares (4 rows). They stretched into the rectangular shape once assembled. And this yarn, no one can describe it adequately. Soft and light and warm. (I wish I could find more, because the ball team girls would like a scarf, too.) Yes, for all the purists out there, it is acrylic, but that means washable and really wearable. Shelley, I hope this is an appropriate end of Indie Secret Pal gift. It's on the way to you.
As I posted this picture, I realized how little of our home is represented in this blog. The cabinet Abby is in front of is the TV cabinet/entertainment center. It's hardly ever closed. It is made from an old cedar armoire that was FREE. Yes you read that right. I came home from work one day and it was on the front porch. People know I like old things. And this happens rather often. The front panels on the doors were cracked and the lady who owned it passed away. Her family was going to toss it and someone said that I maybe could use it. Well - I looked and thought - for months - about what to do about the doors and how to use this. Then - the muses took over and I found this library book wall paper. I then seriously looked at the doors and found that the cracked panels were easily removable. I replaced them with scrap paneling, covered with the wall paper. Mr. Charles added shelves made from wood we tore out of the house during the renovation process and an entertainment center was born. I have this piece worth several dollars and I have $24.99 plus tax in it. A pretty good bargain if you ask me. (The child has cost significantly more money)
I include this only because I wonder about the people in other blogs. I love finding out details about the history and how their life really is. Not the dressed up, public image, but real life, day to day. As blogging has become more comfortable for me, I find myself sharing more of those details. I hope you don't mind.
Have a beautiful day.
This is one of my items for the July black and white swap. I love the challenge that constraints on a project causes. In this case the black and white color scheme was a major restriction.
I found the frame on sale at biglots. It was for one of those panoramic photographs. The background is stamped on glossy white fingerprint paper. (there has to be some magic trick for aligning images when using a repeat like this.) The "peace" is stamped on plain white card stock individually. and the frames are another scrapbook item. What the photo doesn't show is the different textures embossed on these black leather frames.
The entire package is a box of mixed media supplies in black and white and then includes this small handmade gift. I hope the recipient enjoys this.
About swaps, I have been on the ass end of some really crappy partners of late. I try really hard to get swaps done and out. Sometimes I am a tiny bit late. But never a no send. I have at least 6 swap partners who have never sent my incoming items, and the bad thing is - no email or contact in any way explaining the problem. I think I am going to only do small, individually organized swaps from now on.
I participated in the NikkiShell postcard swap and got all but one of my cards. They are beautiful and well made. (photos to come).
Enough of the bad stuff. We leave on Tuesday morning July 25 to go to Mississippi to play ball. Right now getting all that together is top of the list for my life. So not much crafting to come. Wish these girls luck and if you are of a prayer based faith, please pray for our safety as we travel and play.
Have a beautiful day.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
This post is a day early but I will be preparing for the Youth Retreat tomorrow. I have seen this type of meme on other blogs for birthday posts. So for my 41st birthday I am going to share 41 random things about me.
1. I love sushi.
2. I sell toilets for a living. (I am a plumbing showroom manager)
3. I have 1 sister.
4. My dad was killed in an accident when I was 15.
5. I drive a pickup truck.
6. I love the sound a wooden screen door makes when it slams. We have three of those doors on our house.
7. I am a youth choir director.
8. As of right now my favorite US city is Chicago. I would love to visit many more and add to the list.
9. I want to go on an Alaskan cruise before I die.
10. I graduated from college with a degree in Electronics Engineering Tech. My mom thinks she wasted her money.
11. My first car was a PINK Datsun pickup truck.
12. My kids say I can't cook. However, I do serve a mean Poptart.
13. My hair has been punk rock spiked with coke can red highlights. And I was an adult when this was done.
14. I collect lighthouses.
15. My grandfather is alive but I don't know him.
16. I look like my mom.
17. I act like my dad.
18. I drink really expensive tequila. (Herradura Silver, and Patron)
19. Summer sandal weather requires painted toenails.
20. The china pattern I collect is Salem Petit Point.
21. I collect coca cola memorabilia.
22. I love fresh linen and black cherry scented candles.
23. My favorite place to soul search is in the front porch swing at night. Kitty cat, Almond, usually joins me.
24. I can (and have) watch "Gone in 60 Seconds" over and over.
25. I kill houseplants.
26. I love Rock City barns.
27. I suffered anoriexia as a teenager.
28. I eat steak, but prefer chicken.
29. I do not knit, I crochet.
30. I would rather have wood floors than carpet.
31. I hate to paint unless it is a crafty project.
32. I do not sit still well at all. I have to be doing something.
33. I am not a morning person.
34. There is nothing in the world that a hot bath and chocolate won't make a little better.
35. My favorite wine is "Big Fire Pinot Noir". Bottled by R Stuart & Co. , an Oregon winery.
36. I am a huge fan of Bonnie Raitt.
37. I am allergic to stings.
38. Coca-Cola Classic - not diet - definitely not Pepsi.
39. Favorite concerts I have attended - The Eagles, Skynard in the old Fulton County Staduim, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Quite obviously I am a teenager of the 80's.
40. Baths preferred over showers.
41. I am terrified of camel crickets and spiders, and I do not like snakes.
There, now you all know a little more about me. Probably more than you wanted to.
One last tidbit, for those of you who have children, I share a birthday with Sponge Bob.
Have a beautiful day. I plan to spend this birthday weekend with the kids in the church youth group. I hope you have a great weekend.
Swap goodies. This is my latest package. From a new friend - thank you so much Brina. You really should have a blog.
This is from the dollar store swap on swap-bot and it was so much fun to unpack. The outer wrap was plain brown paper. Then when I opened that, I found sequins floating around and this wonderful collaged box. (Nicholas Cage was well represented) Things were labeled with the fun little notes and it all fits me to a "t".
Brina, thanks for taking the time to put together such a personal and thoughtful package. I look forward to keeping in touch with you.
Now for my week, the stressful stuff is almost over. I have the table decorations done for a baby shower. I used the lambkin pattern and we are going with a scripture theme. More pictures tomorrow. Youth retreat is this weekend - then that will be done. I am caught up on swaps for right now. 4 packages will go in the mail on Friday. Now all I have to do is get the remainder of things together for the Softball National Tournmaent trip.
I have seen craft survival kits on several blogs. And I have a list started for things to take to Mississippi with me. Any ideas from you guys about what to take. We will be keeping the girls close to the hotel a lot of the time to stay rested, so I will have craft time. The plan is to finish several of the ATC while I am there. Funny, I haven't even thought about what to take to wear, but that craft list is being formed. I guess that shows what my priorities are.
It has been really quiet in blogland. I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer.
Have a beautiful day.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Sorry for the really crappy picture. This is where all the stuff that is now taking up space in "my" studio is going. Soon. This is what we call the big barn. It's actually my favorite on the property. It is big, has multiple rooms, a hay loft that the girls have played in, and my favorite part, it is covered with trumpet vine. Hummingbirds find the slender and bright orange flowers irresistable.
When we moved in, the barn still had lots of "stuff" in the rooms. Now we have sorted through all of that and added our own things. It was hard work to clean out but still so much fun. For some reason, I am drawn to "old things" - I know at least one person who will find that statement funny. I am drawn to "handmade things." I think that is why I love the house and barns on our property. They were not built by someone to sell. They were built by the owners, family and friends. They were built as shelter and protection for those who lived and worked there. This barn was built using rough cut lumber from the area, stones for the supports underneath. Not a simple thing to do at the time. There is an honesty in old buildings that new construction does not have. There is a quiet beauty in that honesty.
I hope that someday people "find" things that I have made, that others have made, and find the quiet beauty in the handmade aspect of them.
I promise to post some crafty things next week - I am cutting a swath through the to do list.
I hope you all have a beautiful weekend.
Monday, July 03, 2006
This photo has nothing to do with the post. But just like the lady I am talking about, I hate a post with out pictures. This was taken earlier this spring behind my house.
Now for the meat of this post. WhenI entered the blogosphere and swap world, I had no idea where it would lead. I had started reading and being inspired by all the creativity represented. I saw all the people as superhuman and so much better at what they did than I was. Then I began to open my heart and really study the blog writing, leaving comments, asking questions in the swap arena, basically opening my life and inviting these people in. In doing this, I discovered wonderful people who simply have a passion for creating and a generous heart for sharing a small part of themselves.
I have found this community to be supportive, inspiring, tolerant, generous, and almost any other words you can add to that list.
Saturday, my Abby was playing ball in Covington, GA and I remembered that a swap partner and blog writer has a store there. So during a long midday break, we found Katie Cannon and Co. in downtown Covington. Katie is the author of the Katies knit knat blog (see my sidebar) and I wondered what she might be like in person. We stroll into the store and although I had been on her website I was blown away by the array of really wonderful items. Then, when I introduced myself as Teresa from Maggie Grace, all insecurity about meeting a stranger was gone. Katie is warm and friendly, open and engaging, informative and generous. I spent several minutes with her, I spent a little money on yarn (there will be more), mostly I was encouraged by the welcome she gave us. We have quite a lot in common and I can see me going back regularly.
She has a wonderful array of yarns, some beautiful gift ideas, and a welcoming area for sitting and stitching.
If you haven't already, take a look at her blog, and drop her a line.
If you out in blogland are ever in the Athens Georgia area, let me know, I would love to meet you.
Katie, a huge thanks to you for your hospitality. Your store is absolutely adorable and I look forward to visiting again.
Happy 4th everyone. I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday. Have a beautiful day.