Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lenten Observation

The girls and I observe the Lenten season every year. To us this is an important part of our faith tradition. The season of Lent covers the 40 days from Ash Wednesday through Easter. The scripture readings we follow, carry us through the life of Christ and culminate Easter weekend.

One of the traditions we follow is the giving up of something important to us. It can be a food or habit - anything that makes us realize a sacrifice and causes us to focus on that sacrifice and pray or become closer to God. For a simple explanation of Lent go to

I made the decision to give up bread and bread products. Aka breaded meats and pasta as well as bread in its recognized forms. What I did not realize is what a major source of carbs bread was in my diet. I am now defined as a Carbohydrate Addict. I am suffering withdrawal symptoms. Early on, I was tired, cranky, and nauseaous. Now - I feel as if I have a tight rubber band wrapped around my midline. It is better, but I did not anticipate this. Medical advice is - stick this out and I will feel so much better. And - HUGE PLUS - this could be the jump start my body needs to continue my weight loss.

I have been a little scarce this week. Nothing wrong, just busy. Work is wide open and that Home and Garden Show is this weekend. So I am building a show booth. This does qualify as a creative endeavor and I really cannot wait to show you guys photos of the process and the finished booth next week. There will be NO crafting and creating time this weekend other than the show. But I will be back on track next week.

I will catch up on some things next week. I owe some return gifts, and thank you notes and those will be taken care of too.

Have a wonderful day.

Photo above is the interior of the Ida Calloway Memorial Chapel at Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain GA.

Monday, February 26, 2007

When this .....

Is your constant companion for the weekend, you can see progress being made. I can see the leftovers of all that yarn being used up. I have 14 squares completed of the 64 that I need. So I define that as progress.
Busy weekend. Molly in downtown Atlanta at 8am Saturday for volleyball. Drive home and put her on the bus for soccer in Lexington, GA. Abby softball practice on Sat pm. Molly volleyball practice on Sunday pm. Visitation and funeral for my husband's uncle. Sunday AM church and lunch with just me and Abby on Sunday. I had to come back to work to rest.
For those of you who are a part of CIP - time to email me some progress shots. While I have some blogger gifts finished - it was one of my listed items- I can't post them - these ladies are the recipients - and I cannot spoil the surprise. The other items on my list are incredibly adventurous and will be year long anyway. Look for updates over there by the end of the week though.
The granny squares above are part of a use what I have project and will be a gift at the end of the road. I do have to say, my craft item spending remains WAY down, because I have been very diligent in my committment. Add to that, I am spending extra money on the studio, which is moving WAY too slowly for me. Especially now that I have seen Alicia's and Heather's spaces.
Many thanks to those who commented me on the last post. Sometimes I wonder if personal is where I need to go or if I need to stay in the "I am a creative person line." But no matter what I have put out there, you all have responded. And I really appreciate that.
Back to the granny's. I take the bag everywhere. It is big enough to drop my keys and my wallet into - so it replaces my purse. I actually made this bag from a tea towel and some ribbon for the handles. Goes into the wash easily. It is a workable size. I hang it from my chair at ballgames and sit it on the ground or floor at other events. It is in my truck all the time, so I can grab and add a few stitches while I wait. This keeps me from feeling that I am wasting time. The amazing thing about this is how many people are interested in what I am doing. The kids on my daughter's teams are all interested. Total strangers will start conversations. One of the parents actually volunteered to donate some remaining yarn she has for the project so maybe I won't have to buy any yarn for this blanket at all.
I have other plans for portable projects too. Some more cross stitch. Some fabric yo-yo projects. More crochet projects. Travel ball affords much time for this type of project.
Oh and about the lunch with Abby. She spends a ton of time with her Dad because he coaches her. I always get (have) to travel with Molly. So this is a rare treat for us to be alone together. She is much more like me than Molly and enjoys trying new foods. Yesterday was Sushi. Some things she liked - some she didn't, but we sure did have a great time. She is funny and adventurous and knows very little fear and is a delight to be around. And once we get through this I am 13 and I am awkward in my skin phase, she is going to be even more fun to be around. I love being a mother to these two girls. I take my role seriously, and yet I look forward to the friendship I can imagine us having as they enter adulthood.
I had a busy but wonderful weekend. Sure hope you did too.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Have you ever

Have you ever just responded? Heard that internal voice that says, yes, this is what you should do? Well I am finally listening. And in that listening I learned yesterday that yes I AM AN ARTIST.
The photo above is of a collage piece I completed Wednesday night. I have sporadically worked on it for the last several weeks. On Wednesday, I felt led to finish it, led by an unseen call in my innermost being. So, ignoring a migraine I finished it and put it into an inexpensive frame. I was going to let this be my first listed piece on etsy.
Normally, I have someone or something in mind when I am working on my art and craft. I didn't with this. I simply wanted to do something and if you know me well, you know there is symbolism in all of it.
Yesterday, I shared this with a friend, and that person said, "who is this for?" Choose carefully who gets it, it's special.
And then a new friend walked into my work, to make changes to her selections. She and I have developed one of those quick bonds, and we were talking. This still small voice inside, said she's the one, give it to her. So I did. Without any pomp or circumstance. Unwrapped. Impulsive. And she burst into tears. Overcome. I did not know what to do.
See - Mary is a sculptor - a REAL artist. She has had installations in high profile locations. She collects art from other recognized artists. What the hell was I gifting her with - a cheaply framed collage piece. I almost thought I had lost my mind. But she informed me that the difference in art and craft, is that art has a message to give someone. And that made all the difference in defining myself as an artist.
Mary is also a Christian. And she is struggling with some decisions and some difficulties in her life. In her prayers yesterday, she had asked for a love note from God. Just as a pointer, to affirm that she is on the right path. And I was allowed to be the one to deliver the note.
Now I understand the urgency I felt to complete the piece.
And last night I journaled these words.
My Message need not be loud
not flashly or proud.
Remember I came as a Babe
In a stinking stable My bed was made.
But through the quiet still of that night
The change for the world began
All because someone was willing
to do the work led by my Father's hand.
i am trying to send a message.
of positive thoughts and healing words.
just when i think i am losing ground.
i am given a gift myself.
the path i chose so many years ago.
to take each moment and each day
and celebrate it for the gift it is
is the path that i must now stay
for God's gifts are small and large
and he is leading my way.
Now I am not one of those "religious" people. I have my faith and am willing to share it. But I will not push my faith on anyone. But I saw God's hand in my work yesterday. And if I never see it again, I can recall that moment when I need the encouragement to continue on the path.
Next week I will share the sketch I made for my new collage as a direct result of this.
Beautiful people, you will have impact on someone today. You have the choice to make it a positive experience or a negative. Choose carefully.
Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The green eyed monster

The green eyed monster has claimed every ounce of my brain this morning. Yes that monster is envy. Not the ugly kind of envy where you are angry and sullen and ugly and raging.

This is more subtle. Soft. Sugary sweet. The kind of envy that will make me get my ass in gear to get my space ready. The kind of envy that makes me wish I lived near this because, I could sit and absorb.

I bought the Romantic Homes mag with Alicia Paulson's studio featured. I drooled. I gushed. I studied details.

I own the Jo Packham book Where Women Create. I have picked out ideas, and items, and favorites there too.

Then this morning, as I cruised my blogroll, these images appeared. I apologize profusely Heather, but I swiped an image. I am giving you full credit. I am giving you full admiration. I bow down to you. I wish you could help with mine. I wish .... I want .... I desire ....

For all of you readers who think I am nuts. Stop with my blog and go see this .

Only the most wonderful studio space on earth. With recycled and reconfigured pieces. Color that looks as if it could be one of her fabric lines. Organized. Beautiful. Even Heather calls it her Sugar Shack. I can see magazines lining up everywhere to photograph this and feature her.

And if you read through her archives, you will find that Heather is a wife and mother and creative genius and fabric designer and generous with tips and techniques. Add that she is beautiful too. I have been a faithful reader since I found her site months ago.

Take a trip. Visit with her. But I warn you - be prepared for the brain cell firing up that will occur when you are inspired. I am in some serious studio space lust with this one. I hope all of you will visit too.

Leave a comment about what you think here too.

Have a beautiful day. I think I may just use this image as my screen background, and try to keep the drool from the hitting the keyboard.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some things should not be funny -- but

This tombstone never fails to make me smile. I know that is a little strange, hell I'm a little strange.
It reads
To the Memory of
Polly Carithers
consort of
William C Carrithers
May 24th, 1856
in the 58th year of her age
We hope she rests in Heaven.
It is in the Lystra Church cemetary near my house. The church is no longer there, it was burned by vandals years ago. But I walk the dirt road and sometimes cruise through the cemetary and read tombstones. (morbid - but me and the girls love to do this)
The very first time I saw this, I giggled and said "either he really loved her or his other wife hated her." I read "consort" as a mistress for some reason. The actual definition is - a trusted companion.
But then I read the bottom. Apparently there must have been some question about the meeting that would occur at the pearly gates of heaven.
I know - irreverent, morbid, strange, wierd. All those words and more describe me.
Now for a funny from last night. I had a meeting at the school. Abby had a soccer game and then hitting lessons. Molly had soccer practice and then a team dinner. So we were spread out all over the county. When Molly came home, her Dad's car was in the driveway, but no lights were on. This is very unusual, but he and Abby chose to ride with another team member and her Dad to hitting lessons. Molly called me and did not get me, called her Dad and he was in cell phone hell so no answer. She was a little unnerved. As quick as we each got our messages we called her back and she calmed down. When I got home later - she met me at the door.
None of that is all too funny, but what she said to me was. As I opened the door she exclaimed-------
"I thought the rapture had happened, and I missed it."
We both had a huge laughing roar and continued to laugh all night about it.
I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The light at the end

At first I was going to delete this picture. The lighting is off. Or my over-sized self was in the way. Or something. Then I looked at it. Carefully.

For starters - the red is stunning. And the embossing on the cover teases me.

There is a fade to black appearance at the bottom.

I am in a good place today. I have cleaned my desk at work. Makes me feel more in control of things. I have moved all the notes written on random pieces of paper to one notepad. I have a plan for the remainder of the week and this feels good.

I spent last night working toward completion of one of those old things hanging over my head. This will be completed before the weekend is over.

Most of the house is clean. And while it is not all folded and put away, the laundry is caught up. (Thank you Molly and Presidents Day.)

I have a meeting tonite at the school. Then I can sit and relax in my red leather chair, and work on my sister's noah's ark piece. I will also be packing up some fabric bits for Gina over at LaBelleAve.

So what about this photo goes with this post???? Right now I feel like the light is slowly revealing itself into my world. And this picture seems to illustrate that thought exactly.

I so rarely let negatives creep into here. I find myself looking at other blogs and those beautiful homes and creative accomplishments and thinking - how do they do it? Is there something I missed in the time line that allows for time warps and getting more done? Do they have more options available. Money, maid service, better skills than I - what is it that allows for those accomplishments? Then there is today - and I feel like I can set a goal and finish it. Then I'll set the next one. And the next. When I can get here, I am no longer envious. I can see that those others have just put away the fabric, yarn bits, paper scraps, etc. They have worked and saved and carried those projects through to the completion. And they are no different than I am. They are real, inspiring, generous, hard working, creative, and lovely people. Just like I strive to be.

Maybe just one person in the whole blog world will have looked into MaggieGrace land and wondered if I have that storybook life. Yeah right??? There is a story here, but it ain't no fairy tale. However, it is a beautiful life and I appreciate every small grace that comes my way. And you my lovely readers, are an enormous part of that grace.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Whew - what a weekend

At least now I am warm. On Friday night Molly played soccer. 4 hours in the cold. Saturday morning, Abby had a softball tournament. I do not care who you are, nor how much of a softball fanatic you are, SNOW FLURRIES AND SOFTBALL DO NOT GO TOGETHER. Yes we sat in the wind and cold and snow flurries to watch 3 softball games. In other words, my normal sit still and create was replaced by go get coffee and shiver. Took me all evening Saturday to get warm.

No creating was accomplished on Saturday at all. I do however have a stack of insulation in the barn - can't wait to get that up so I can finish the ceiling and walls.

The creating on Sunday is a piece for a reader, so I can't blog about it - yet.

I can however, post a photo of the swap I mailed for a recent Swap-Bot swap. I hope I get something back for these. The swap was titled, A-R-T-I-S-T spell it out ATC. The only criteria was that the letter be on each ATC. Fiber arts being my forte, that is the direction I went, with processes and materials used predominantly in that medium. Cross stitched the letters in my favorite charted alphabet using a hand dyed floss in shades of red. I continued the entire series with bright colors. I am incredibly happy with this set. All are created on the felted poly quilt batting that I use for baby quilts. I left it exposed on all of them.

An explanation is as follows.

A - applique. Using the tiniest scraps of some fun multicolor cotton fabric. I cut the circles usng my Sizzix die cut machine. Easy peasy.

R - Ribbon. Something of a fetish for me. I cannot resist ribbon. And I save scraps of the trimmings in plastic baggies on the offhand chance that I might use them. Do I need counseling for saving even the tiniest of scraps?????

T - Trim. I used a vintage piece of needle lace. A freebie in a box someone gave me from an estate. There were lots of new lace trims in the box. But when I dumped it on the table, I found vintage trim and some adorable buttons too. Love those freebies - especially when they contain surprises like that.

I - Interfacing. This was hard for me. There is nothing fun or artistic about interfacing. So I stamped a flower pattern on, colored with oil pastels, cut them out and gave them rick-rac stems.

S - Sequins. Aren't these fun. Another of my favorite "bling" items. This looks like a sprinkling of flowers to me. Figuring out where I wanted them was lot's of fun.

T - Toile. My favorite fabric in the whole world. In any colorway. I also love toile patterned papers. This was a selvedge scrap - and I love the button - simply tied on. Yes I save the selvedges. They actually make fabulous package ties.

I am still not complete with a few projects out there. Looming over my head and feeling like a heavy burden. I really must get some of this out of the way.

I hope this finds you with sunshine and warmer weather than we have. When it's cold, I just want to burrow in with a project or a good book. Stay wrapped up and drink hot beverages.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm here for the party

Better late than never, right? This is one of those stripey blankets ala Allsorts and Posie. Alicia is making a ripple version. Others have been spotted all over the blogosphere. I am really not late for this party. I have had this and some others for a LOONNGG time. My mom made it. Single crochet, tie on a new one when you get to the end of what you have. When its big enough to make you happy, stop. How simple is this.

A detail of the stitches and color changes. This one is a small, call it "lap" size. The other one is double bed sized. Toss in the washer and dryer. Now that is my kind of care.

I live an easy maintenance kind of life. Try to anyway. No carpet in my house. Stainless steel sinks. Try my damnedest not to iron. And, I have no fear of dust bunnies, so I just step on over them and go on about my day.

Speaking of the ironing thing. My laundry room is just outside the bathroom, so EVERY day, as we enter the bathroom for our shower, we toss whatever we plan to wear into the dryer with a wet towel. That, my loves, is what we call ironing at my house. Added bonus, warm clothes during cold weather. MMMM - a really warm, fuzzy feeling.

Another view of the blanket. The edge trim. The other one does not have this.

I am fortunate in that I have family pieces in my home. I come from a long line of creativity and I have embroidered hankies, table toppers, pillowcases. I have doilies, blankets, ornaments. Quilts, potholders. A myriad of items. All passed down from my heritage. There is a comfort in these pieces. There was not a lot of material wealth in my family, but we have heritage, and I have tangible things created by those before me. The history of working class people and the way they tried to stretch everything as far as they could.

As I continue to define myself as an artist, I have found a penchant for fiber arts and mixed media. But in addition, I find myself using the smallest of scraps. Minimizing my purchases. Using found and recycled materials. Or new items destined for the dump. I recognize that I have the luxury of running to the fabric store, and I do that, and I am appreciative of that luxury. But if someone offers me a handme down, or I find things at yard sales or thrift, I am not offended at the pedigree. I am thrilled to be able to breathe some sort of new life into them. I also love the challenge of creating with things that others would toss away.

As I have cruised around the web in the last several months, I find many other creative people share these ideas with me. I love the inspiration I have found. I love the friendships I have gained. You are all very special to me.

Now - cruise on over to Vallens place at your own risk. She is showing off some of the cutest Nests. And as if I have nothing else to do, she gives directions on making them. I have wanted a NeSt from InspireCo for so long that I may just have to adapt those instructions from the Queen and make my own.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Good Sugar

I hope you can enlarge this photograph.

I cried tears of joy when I found this in my inbox earlier today. This celebration comes courtesy of Will and Tammie Drummond, who I am pleased to say have so much more than I do to celebrate today.

Tammie is one of the sales reps who calls on me at my "real" job. More importantly she is my friend. She is also a member of a club that neither of us wanted to join. Tammie is a cancer survivor.

Will was tiny when she was diagnosed. When she shared the news with me,I was devastated. She is young, Will was a baby, and the outlook was terminal - GRIM. I cried tears of fear for her, her husband, and little Will. This was real. An in the trenches fight for her life. Now many months later, many dollars later, many treatments later, she shares a "good sugar" Valentine wish for all of us.

She was here last week and been told now that she is stable. She will be oxygen dependent but stable. She WILL see WILL grow up. He will get to know how hard she fought for herself, and for her family. He will see the beauty of this incredible woman. She will get to share her wisdom with him, her grace, her passion, her love, AND her presence.

Tammie my beautiful friend, Happy Love Day. You are so right, that picture is the pure and inspiring definition of "GOOD SUGAR".

Sweets for Me - and Fabric for Thee

The fabric is for MaryAnn. She is becoming aquainted with her sewing machine and issued a challenge on her blog. Send her 1 yard of fabric. She is gonna make something. I though I would preview the fabric and see if her wheels start turning even before the package gets there. The photo really does not show the beautiful color of this as well as I would like. Indigo - almost purple and royal and white stripes. It's a thrifted piece too. 60" wide and I got 4 yards for two dollars. Cool huh!!!

The chocolates were on my desk this morning from an anonymous source. I like that the flower on the wrapper matched the fabric. They are Dove brand caramel filled chocolates. No grudges ever harbored against chocolate. Every wrapper contains an 'angel' message and the one I unwrapped is perfect for MaryAnn. It says MAKE SOMEONE SMILE and that she does for so many people.

It is Valentines Day. I am celebrating, not with flashy flowers and cards, but with a great appreciation for those who have enhanced my life.

Yes that means all of you readers. Especially those who have become kitchen door guests. The ones who come again and again. Who know the house may need sweeping, the beds made. Those friends who will offer to help and mean it, but would rather just visit and not worry about what else need to be done.

Tonite I will lift my glass (sweet tea of course) and toast all of my lovely cyber friends as well as those who love me in my real world too.

Happy Love Day Beautiful People.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Doors and Details - and a game to play.

Doors - do they keep others in or out? What about you - do your doors keep you in or out?

On Saturday afternoon, the girls and I went exploring, camera in hand. I will share these photo's with you over the next few posts. I am participating in an online scavenger hunt with descriptions and I take take pictures to "fit" my interpretation of the description. First photo was described as "a red door." I knew immediately where and what I wanted to photograph. It is the door of a caboose permanently parked on a siding in Hartwell, GA. Slowly becoming more and more delapidated every day. I love the chalky appearance that the paint has taken on.

I thought about many things after these were printed. Who tried to get in? Why? Why do people DEMAND entrance into a door closed? If I closed that door on you, would I have good reason? Or did I close it just because something struck me wrong? Is this door permanently closed or do I just need some time? I pondered these thoughts a lot on Sunday afternoon.

I always though I was open - but a friend told me that I am not. That I don't share my true feelings easily. So that is something I am much more aware of. I know I am way more tolerant of others being in my space than some people are. I am even designing the studio to share with others. I have a hard time closing the door and taking time just for me. I have a hard time being still. Doing nothing. I even work on something when I watch TV. Is that because I might open a door to some deep hidden emotion that I really don't want to deal with?

Deep questions - few answers - just thoughts.

The second photo is what I chose to represent "architecture". The steeple of 1st Methodist Church in Hartwell. As I was walking back to the truck from the caboose, the sun caught the brickwork on the steeple. I am 41 years old and have driven by this church often all my life. I had never noticed the brick. I hope you will take the time to click on the picture and enlarge it, because not only is there brick, it is patterned and incredibly beautiful. Whoever took the time to make these decorative tiles had to know they would be overlooked. And yet, there they are, stunning in their detail. I doubt I will pass this church again without taking notice.

How many things, people, needs, do we overlook everyday? How many objects of beauty could we appreciate even more if we really saturated ourselves in watching more carefully? How many hands and hearts could we touch if we paid attention to others around us? How many needs could we meet if we really took the time to listen and really hear what someone is saying to us?

If you are a regular reader, you know I am focused on positive things and celebrations of even the tiniest details I encounter every day. Seeing this detail way above my head really gave me a jolt. Even though I have focused on these kinds of tiny details, I missed this. I have renewed my committment to be much more observant of the people, places and things around me.

Anybody out there want to play along? Here are 5 words/phrases. Pick as many as you would like and provide a photo on your blog. Comment here and leave your link - blogger doesn't follow you back so type out your blog address. I promise I will come and look at your details and interpretation. Maybe some of my other readers will too.

1. bold and colorful
2. smile and the world smiles back
3. new life
4. reflections
5. planes, trains, and automobiles.

Have fun and have a great day. Enjoy an outing and share your area with me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Does anyone else have this???

I think this qualifies as a WIP mess. This pile is what has accumulated on the table next to my chair. I did not show you the snippings of threads that I pile in a candle holder on that same table.

I stitch in my chair in the living room. My kids and their dad are there, watching tv or at the computer. So I can help with homework and be a part of discussions. But the result is this pile.

What am I working on? The crewel work piece on the lower right. It is to be the center of a window in a Noah's ark wall quilt I am making for my sister for part of her Christmas. I am using up bits and pieces of fibers on this.

I found the square coloring book style print of the animals online. Enlarged it on the copier and used my handy transfer pen. I don't have a light table so I open my china cabinet door into the light and tape the image to the glass. Ironed onto a cotton calico and start stitching.

The sheep's wooly coat is done with some wool yarn in a modified seed stitch. I stacked the stitches and turned them in all different directions. Love the way this turned out. I can't do a french knot, so this is how I completed this.

I really cannot wait to get this all finished and paper piece the wall quilt. I am defining myself a little more every day and I guess what I am finding is that I am predominately a fiber artist.

How do you define yourself? Tell us - tell your story about how you came to this definition. We all want to know.

Have a great day.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Some Days its just fun ....

To do something nice. Not because you have to. Just because you want to. All of these hearts are leaving and heading out to Las Vegas. All because I found out about this .......

Postcards are usually just a quick "thinking of you" message that people send during vacation. But to one local girl, they mean so much more. For Luci LaMonica, postcards are a message of hope, and a way to get her mind off a life-threatening illness.
Luci has leukemia. She is an honor student who loves to study and her new favorite subject is geography. Luci is only 8 years old, but already she's trying to travel the world one postcard at a time. So far, she's gotten about 60 postcards.
"It makes me feel better if I'm feeling really bad that day," said Luci. "It's nice to see how many people care and stuff."
You can get postcards anywhere, and they cost very little, but to Luci, these postcards are worth much more than the paper and ink it took to print them
"Some days she feels sick and tired and doesn't have an appetite - she's scared. So things like this will perk up her day," said Liz LaMonica, Luci's mom.
If you're planning on leaving the country or the state and would like to mail a postcard to Luci from where you're visiting, you may do so at the following address:
Luci LaMonica3383 W. Oquendo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89118

The post I read was about hearts and I shared it with these ......

The kids in attendance at my youth meeting on Wednesday night. They were thrilled to share some "hearty" love with her. So we hit the supply room and grabbed card stock and glitter and paint and markers and they fired up the Ipod's and the social activity buzzed all around me. As they compared each others work, I could hear prayers being lifted for this stranger.

We talked about the project I participated in for JoAnnA. We talked about reaching out without expecting anything in return. We talked about how scary it must be for those with illness. We talked about the fears of every parent that their child may be sick. We talked about our responsiblilty as Christians to share the love of Christ without qualifying the people we share with. And while those kids made hearts, they did not even realize how much they learned about being a Christian.

I grew up being dropped off at church. These kids are fortunate. Every one of them has parents who are active in their faith and who have chosen to participate in these activities as well. As a church, we never have any problem getting chaperones, food, or financial support for these kids. Their activities are supported whole heartedly. I love the people at Jones Chapel. I really love these kids.

If you are inclined to share some love from your neck of the woods - just because you want to, please take the time to send Miss Luci a card. If you would like to send a word of encouragement to those kids at Jones Chapel, I will pass those on as well. You can send those words to Jones Chapel Youth - Attn Teresa Atkinson - PO Box 471 - Danielsville, GA - 30633.

I will also print any comments for these kids and share them.

I have discovered bloggers are kind and encouraging and generous people. I would love to show this to those kids and encourage that behavior in each one of them.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Look - more grannies

These adorable Easter baskets can be found at Inspireco. I adore Amy's blog and her online shop. I tried for a winter NeSt and missed them. For some seriously beautiful reading spend some time with her. For some seriously beautiful eye candy, spend some time with her.

The description of her listening to her husband getting ready for work was wonderful. The stuff romance novels are made of.

MaggieGrace is working on several things. But some I can't show yet.

Here is today's not so funny, funny. A co-worker of mine called in this morning. 40 years old and has the Chicken Pox. Big burly motorcycle guy has been reduced to a scratching, clawing, whining, mess. The rest of us have had them - so no danger. Just too funny that he had to be the one.

I am desperately overcommitted again, but this time it is via my children. Abby is playing softball AND soccer. Molly is playing volleyball AND soccer. I have a work conflict on the 1st weekend in March. I really need to clone me. The good thing is that I get lots of handwork done while they play ball. But right now I am feeling the pressure in a huge way.

I do hope all of you are having a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Breast Friends Art Collaborative

I was able to participate several months back in a collaborative project for JoAnnA from Mosshill Studios.

JoAnnA was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since I know what that diagnosis brings, I wanted to send a selection to the project.

Put together by Lelaina at Tattered Edge, the project was a book page and a charm for a bracelet.

JoAnnA starts her chemo treatments today and chose to take the book with her for the treatment time.

She is open about her faith and I chose a bible verse for my page. I also chose to create a pattern resembling a log cabin block. All stitched from threads I purchased as leftovers from Bucilla kits. Any of you who know me well know that I like to have symbolism in my work. So for those who have never walked this type of journey, I will explain.

The open area between all the colors represent the path. There are to be many turns as you progress. But even though some turns appear to be a dead end, there is always a way around or back.

All of the colors are different. No one's part in this journey will have the same meaning. Every encounter with illness brings different experience. Every person along the way brings their part to help you, support you, love you. Some of these people will only touch you briefly, others will walk a longer part of the path with you. Every thing has a place and a part and each will bring a sort of beauty on their own. At some point in the future you will be able to see that the picture is full of beauty in its own way.

The charm is recycled materials as well. The beads are the ones that fell off of dress trims when they were cut and it is wrapped around a recycled washer from my stash. Again different colors - representing all the differences in her journey and supporters.

To see more from this project go to Tattered Edge and follow the Flickr links.

I want to express my thanks to everyone who had a part in this. It was humbling to see my art in collaboration with all of these wonderfully talented and caring people.

JoAnnA, my new friend, I hope today goes as well as it can. I hope the outpouring of prayers and love from so many of us can be felt by you. We will walk along this path with you.

Have a beautiful day.

Thanks for the pointer

This image is of an Anthropologie bag. Fresh off the latest season. In a comment yesterday, one of my friend pointed me in this direction because of my granny squares.

The cool thing. I have cotton and wool yarn scraps too. May have to try something like this out of the rug yarn I have.

If you have not been to see Black Apple lately - you should - her Ophelia painting is to die for. I love all of her work and her style is off the charts for cool.

Now - I have questions for all of you friends. I know MaryAnn has Paypal capabilities and many of you have etsy shops. Can anyone help me with how all this works??? As I plan this next level of creative designs - I am feeling a need for a sales outlet of some sort.

I am working on a few cross stitch designs of my own. Once the charts have been proofed, I will be making kits. That will be the first of the "for sale" items. My local shop will be using one of my designs as their freebie for the month in March. I will also post that design for anyone who reads this blog as a free goodie.

How many of us crafters wish we could earn our income doing this all day? I can't do that. But it is my hope that I can help pay for some of college education with extra income. I just need some guidance about where to start.

I hope you all have a great day.

Monday, February 05, 2007

We are home safely

Two women - cash in hand - a tank of gas - cd's ready - snacks and drinks - a backseat full of luggage. It's a good thing no one else was along for the ride. There was no room. We are back from the tournament in Tennessee. Had a blast on the trip up there. We sang and talked and laughed. Seems my really intelligent child is learning disabled when it come to reading a map. That was a source of continual entertainment. We left at 6:15 pm and exactly 4 hours later we checked into the hotel. Slept and then played ball ALL day. We did not have a good performance, we were way out of our league there. But add it to experiences and we always take something back from it.

The tournament was on campus at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. An absolutely beautiful place. We played 8 games and won only two. So we never even got out of the pool bracket. We came home Sat night and crashed. Spent most of the day Sunday resting too.

I do have some handiwork to show for the weekend. I completed these granny squares for the scrappy afghan. There is no method to these colors. Literally scraps of yarn left overs. When I finish using up the scraps I am going to arrange with some solid black sqaures to complet the afghan. This is very portable. I have no idea how it is going to turn out. But it gives me something to do while I sit.

I made the photo against the heart pine floor in my living room. 100 year old, distressed by time. I love these floors.

I am working on some CIP things as well. I have found a Noah's Ark to embroider for my sister, that is going to be fun to work on and I am working on the sampler for my Aunt. I also have a ton of sketches for tree ornaments.

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, February 02, 2007

And we're off.

Okay - so I browsed through my last few posts. And- like okay - I haven't been very crafty. After all isn't this what MaggieGrace started out to be. I have been carrying a ton of stress on the shoulders - like the weight of the world - with all of the upheaval in my life. But now I can see things improving greatly.

So "my bags are packed and I am ready to go" (anybody know who sang this in the Armageddon Movie???) Molly and I are off this evening to Chattanooga, TN - she has a tournament there tomorrow. I have a cross stitch project - complicated so I may not work on it - that depends on how intense the competition is. I have an ornament in the process of being completed - this has potential - it's easy and mindless and keeps me from screaming at officials. AND I have a bag of worsted weight cheap acrylic yarn scraps - All of you real knitters out there together say GROSSSSSS.

These scraps of yarn were in a bag of stuff I gathered, kept, inherited, multiplied like dust bunnies in the back of the storage bin. I spent two hours last night untangling and making cute little balls from this stuff. The plan - one of those wonderful scrappy afghans ALA Belladia And Posie. But I cannot do stripes. I have a problem with the proper tension so my long stretches tend to "wave" along the side. To spread out kinda like my lower half has done over the years. So mine is to be a granny square set up. I plan to literally grab a color and add to it as I go. After I have all of this mess crocheted up, I will go back with black and make up any squares to finish it out. I hope this will become a picnic blanket - a snuggle blankie - a car blanket - a tent - cover for a couple of kids at the ball field - you know that thing you can toss out and the into the washer and dryer. I will post progress photos next week.

The image above is a fun and copyright free one from Dover. I get an email regularly from them with images. Seemed to fit my post theme. You can sign up for your email and free images at

Hold down the fort for me - I plan to enjoy my oldest daughter's company in the car. And music - no telling what we may sing along to. If you see us - roll down the window and wave. We will turn up the radio and allow you to sing along too.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Goodies were found

I had lunch with Mom and Tracey yesterday. Some serious discussion. Some fun. The two of them were playing - they shopped - they thrifted. Then we all ate lunch and stopped at one last thrift store on my way back to work.

It was fun.

I spent a total of 4.00 dollars on a book, two wire formed paper trays, a wire mesh something, and these patterns. I am working on some compostion book covers as a part of my CIP plan, and I wanted these for the graphics, to go on the covers. These books will go in the gift drawer for gifts at Christmas this year.

We are under a winter storm warning here. Sounds dramatic. Results in chaos at the home centers and grocery stores. The reality -- 1/4 inch of messy slush that turned to rain as quick as the sun came up. What are those people gonna do with 8 loaves of bread and 4 gallons of milk? Too funny.

I spent some time on the TWO TREES blog and flickr site this morning. Her work is absolutely incredible. I especially like the wooden rounds of tree branches with images and inspiring words. Take a few minutes if you have time and look at the images.

I have to say, my Mom is improving, and we are adapting to the new schedule. With those improvements, I feel creative again. I started packing last night for our Volleyball trip this weekend. It is more important to me to carry a project than a big suitcase of clothes. Am I the only one with this kind of "problem?"

Looks like it might be a slow day here, maybe I can squeeze in some more surfing and find even more inspiration.

Have a wonderful day.