Monday, April 30, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
When Charles's Mama Norvan passed away, we became the recipients of a mixture of oddities, including a single plate from the pattern that matches those salt and pepper shakers. Seems these were giveaways found in boxes of washing machine soap years ago and you could save labels and turn them in for bigger pieces. I have been a cross-stitcher for way more years than I will admit to here, and this was just the thing to trigger another obsession. Building a set of "cross-stitch" china for my formal use. From 1 plate, I have managed to build a workable set of this.
Now I could buy this off Replacements Ltd., but what fun is that. I would much rather have stories to tell about finding this or that piece. I have searched antique stores, junk stores, thrift stores. People have given me pieces. Now not all of them are the same pattern, but the similarities of the colors and the needlepoint/crossstitch theme make them work.
I believe in using my stuff. I have a serving platter in the basket pattern. It is chipped all along the edges because I took cookies to the church on it and someone dropped it when we were cleaning up. I have it on top of the cabinet in the kitchen and it makes me happy to look at it. The chips along the edge barely show.
I think people are far too quick to discard things. We buy far too many disposable things. I have really neat things in my home that I have inherited/thrifted/been gifted with. I look at the old linens with holes patched and I know that those people lived a far more difficult lifestyle thatn I do. I look at an old quilt that was made from jeans and old mens work shirts and know that it was made by a mom trying to keep her family warm using any thing she had access to. And I chastise myself for just going to buy what I want, with very little thought to what I really need. Maybe the Using What I Have is coming from a deep feeling that I have just overwhelmed myself with things that just clutter my life and seeing those things be used in a beautiful creative manner is very fulfilling.
As I continue this process, the clutter in my home is oh so slowly decreasing. I have done an enormous amount of decluttering my life and emotions as well. Thank you all for the comments and encouragement you send me to keep me on this path.
Today, I bring you flowers. A representation of the beauty of the springtime. I send them to my readers because each of you brings beauty into my life. I challenge you to send a virtual flower from your home today. Let's celebrate the beauty of this earth and be a little more concious in taking care of her. Let's encourage each other and share. If you choose to send a virtual bouquet via your blog, please link back to here and lets see how far around the world this goes.
You are beautiful and I wish you a beautiful day.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
my first favorites mosaic
Originally uploaded by maggiegracecreates.
1. vintage sewing notions, 2. I finally made it, 3. birch tubes from small stump, 4. A brown Paper package tied up with vintage string!, 5. Birthday Presents!, 6. Gift wrap and note, 7. retro pies goodybag, 8. boxes, 9. flickr.com/photos/21784738@N00/165888850/, 10. red & white sampler, 11. words 023, 12. morethanwords #3, 13. packaging, 14. little christmas cards, 15. installation, 16. preparation
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.
I spent some time this morning organizing my first mosaic. How much fun is this?
Flickr is so much fun and inspirational. Like a tear sheet file only in a cleaner format.
I do hope you will visit all these people. via the links on Flickr
I am working on window display ideas and I can see many coming together through these images.
I also put together a quickie to-do list of things I need to get done in the next few days. I really shoud do this more often - then maybe overcommitting will come to a halt (don't hold your breath)
Heres the list - in no particular order
Baby Cass gift
Baby Danuser gift
Mail Scavenger Hunt
Grunge Swap 2
Mail April/May CIP Package
Fabric Challenge for MaryAnn
CIP projects - It really sucks when the facilitator of the group is this far behind.
I am so sure there are others but this is the quick list. At least we have no ball tournaments this weekend. Only a middle school semi formal dance. So maybe I will get some things accomplished off this list this weekend.
Using what I have is becoming a way of life for me. What is really scary about this process - I obviously have plenty to work with. I haven't spent 200 dollars on craft stuff in the last year. I am amazed. I plan to continue this approach as I continue this year. The other part of my life is that I have been gifted with some wonderful materials in this time frame as well. As I have become a better steward of materials, I have been given the gift of increased creativity and materials have come at just the right time to accomplish a project. Maybe it's time to read The Secret and see what else I need to focus on.
Thank yous are due to some wonderful people - so look tomorrow to see what the mail has brought.
I hope you all have a wonderful day.
Friday, April 20, 2007
This is all Vallen's fault. She posted a list today and I am bold face copying her idea. What shall we call these. The Queen's Jewels within a day. Martha Stewart might call them good things. Anyway it's 3:00 in the afternoon in my world and all of these tickled my fancy today.
1 - That first cup of coffee
2 - The words "I Love You" coming from both my girls.
3 - Stuffed Frech toast from IHOP
4 - Taking the time to read and absorb Alexandra Stoddards book "Time Alive" - This has to be read in small doses, so I can absorb and apply her wisdom.
5 - Sandals and painted toenails
6 - The smell of the lemon verbena soaps I just bought for a gift. I left them open in the car for a treat later.
7 - A surprise visit from an old friend. She came to pick out stuff for her house without an appointment. She did not know I worked here. SO much fun.
8 - Dropping in on my best friend at his work and seeing the surprise on his face.
9 - Brenda Walton Scrapbook papers on sale at Tuesday Morning.
10 - Finding yet another inspiration from a blogging buddy.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Adventure - a happening, a daring undertaking, an unusual, stirring experience, to take a risk.
Experience - personal involvement in or observation of events as they occur, all that has happened in ones life to date, the effect on a person of events that have happened, the reaction of a person to those events.
Map - to arrange or plan in detail, to survey or explore for the purpose of making a visual representation.
There is no map for this journey called life. It is an adventure that must be experienced along the way. Only by following the heart and soul can we find our way through. Listen to what yours is saying and follow your true path. Then you can show others that yours is not the one right way, that the way is different for each and everyone.
I'm listening to my heart. It is time to make some inroads on the journey my heart is telling me to follow. MaggieGraceCreates is becoming a sharper focus in my life. While MaryAnn is becoming freer in her creativity by pulling back from selling her work, I am feeling the need to explore more of my creativity as an additional source of income. Maybe some shows, an etsy shop, not really sure. (Could it be that the reality of sending a child off to college is telling me that I need more income?)
Soul searching, planning, defining. How to market? What to market? That's where I am today. Not heavy, just focused. A really good place for me.
Photo above - a map fabric in my day job showroom. I painted a cheap frame with black spraypaint and framed this gorgeous green and gold fabric. But it sure did photograph beautifully in black and white.
Have a beautiful day.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Miss MaryAnn, being the generous person she is, spoiled a surprise for me before breakfast the other day. (Not really - she was posting photos of my fabric challenge goodies)
But I am returning the favor. She sent me a small envelope full of brown fabric yo-yos with a note saying she could not find a use for them. I have chosen a pay it forward (and backwards) approach.
Behold - the outcome of bright yellow yarn and brown yoyo. Not complete yet but I think you get the idea. I plan to add green leaves and a button in the center. Then, because she sent just enough for the CIP members - these completed rays of sunshine will be off to them for there use in embellishing something. I can't wait to see what becomes of these.
So there - a use what I had - pay it forward - return a favor to a friend - work in progress. only 12 more to go.
What do you think of my original design????
Have a fab day -- Teresa
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
How did it start? - I found swap-bot and joined a few swaps. Some of the people I swapped with had blogs and I started reading. Then I decided to create my own. Those first few posts were so bad.
The Name - a memorial to a baby I miscarried. My real name for those who might wonder. Teresa Atkinson.
Why do I blog? It started as a connection to those swap partners. Then as I read and commented, I met more and more people all over the world. I get so much inspiration from this medium and I hope I have provided some inspiration to others. I love the visiting that occurs back and forth from my friends here, and I do consider all of you my friends. There have been times when I thought I might quit, then someone leaves a comment and I realize that, however small it might be, this small site might have a positive impact.
Where do I want to go in the next year? I want this to be a kind place, a place of positive messages, I want to meet even more people who are attracted to a handcrafted and upbeat lifestyle. I want to continue my journey towards being the best I can be, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I want to create more. I want to give more. I want to be fully aware of the smallest blessings in my life. I want to share a good message with those who need to hear it. I want to spend time with you my cyber friends and those I can see face to face.
Special thanks to a few who have been fast friends. There are so many, it is hard, I don't want anyone to be slighted here but there is a special bond that just happens sometimes.
MaryAnn you are amazing, generous, kind, and you give me so much inspiration. I have been challenged and encouraged by you through your blog and personal emails as well as notes and care packages. You da bestest. A daily check in with you happens every weekday. (Professor MaryAnn on my sidebar)
Vallen - the queen herself - a fairly new buddy who shares so much humour and inspiration on her blog. Vallen makes things - lots of things. Vallen loves her family. Vallen cooks - I could learn how if I chose to. Vallen makes us all feel like we are royalty too. (Queenly Things on the sidebar)
Shula - my Aussie pal - Crochet and dolls and wit and wisdom - her beautiful crocheted wedding coat caught my attention on Flickr and I have been to visit her blog over and over - each new post amazes me. (Poppalina on those daily reads)
Corey - an American who gave all to love and moved with that love to France. She makes me think with every post and the eye candy that she shares is forever inspiring. Of course, I would have given into that love too. Look at him. (Tongue in Cheek on the blogroll)
Emily - the black apple - a fellow Athenian. I was a fan long before she moved back here. And she is just as adorable in person as she comes across in the blog. Every new painting or doll is my favorite.
I chose five, but I have so many others that I read everyday. (like about 100 of you) I appreciate all of you and what you bring to my life.
Now the picture above. If a certain someone looks carefully, she will see that this is in response to a challenge I am participating in. Look carefully at the colors ladies - see if they speak to you.
Thank you all for visits here. Thank you for your comments. Thanks for prayers. Thanks for encouraging me. Thanks for everything. As I celebrate my blog birthday - I am really celebrating you.
Have a wonderful day - Teresa
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Today is my 1 year blog anniversary. I am holding that off til tomorrow.
Today we silently remember.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The results - the girls did not perform as well as we would have liked, but I did finish the Granny Square Afghan. I finished it just before we played on Sunday. It was my goal to finish it by the end of this tournament.
The girls were always asking what I was working on during the season. This huge bag of yarn followed us everywhere. And shown above - most of the monsters with the blanket. 42 eight row squares and then 14 more rows around the outside edge.
Working on this was a conversation starter. I was something to keep me calm during games. And something to fill the times between games. It is comfortable and relaxing for me to do this. Other parents read, I can't do that. I need quiet to read and absorb what I read. But this, I can pick up and put away. I can start and stop at any point during a game. And in many a drafty gym, it was nice to have the warmth across my lap.
I will be posting this over on CIP also, because an afghan was one of my big projects for the year.
I have be de-stashing for a year now and I thought I was making progress on the yarn stash with this. Then, last Wednesday night, the preacher's wife shows up with two copier paper boxes of yarn cleaned out from her grandmothers stuff. So I just refilled the stash pile with enough yarn to do another afghan. I may have to change my CIP list to accomodate this free increase in my materials.
I do love the bright and scrappy feel of this blanket. I spread it out on my kingsized bed yesterday evening and loved how it looks. I think it shows the colors and how they can all work together even though they don't match - an illustration of my post last week.
This week will be a week of work - in - progress shots, because I again have a ton of things going. I cannot wait to get school kind of out of the way so I can be working more diligently on the studio. Even the girls are excited about it. Although, poor Molly will be the designated driver for all kinds of drop off and pick up for she and Abby both for summer practices. Not much sleeping in for them this summer. The real world slowly is taking over in their lives.
I hope you all are having a great day. I am so glad MaggieGrace goodies have returned.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I was 4 in this picture. The flower girl in my Uncle Tommy's wedding. My Dad was the best man. My baby sister screamed "I want daddy" through the entire thing. The wedding was held at the small town PH church I grew up in. That's all I remember about that day. I still have the dress and the veil somewhere.
We did receive the bad news yesterday. My friend's son died from a drug overdose. Accidental - tragic - stupid. So today the feelings of shock have turned to anger. And because the small town papers print the police reports in full, this news travelled like lightning. I feel as though the entire universe is weighing me down. I am not eating like I should, I don't sleep very well. And I know that I am removed from this and what my friends must feel has to be multiples worse.
I have retreated into my protective self. That in and of itself is a little scary for me. When things get out of control the food issues return, because that is one thing I can control. I suffered anorexia as a teenager and because I am overweight now, people seem to think that those issues are gone. Part of the reason I am overweight, is that I have been scared to diet, because I know how I CAN control what I eat. Food issues are as serious as drug issues. I am however aware of these tendencies and I guard against them. Right now I am crocheting and working on a few other things. I am trying to be quiet and allow my soul to feel its way through this emotionally charged time.
Please continue your prayers for the family.
Now - I saw on another blog a Thursday 13 list and tomorrow is Friday the 13th. I am going to post 13 blessings from my day, just so I can have a bright note (maybe this one is lime green).
1. My best friend who has listened to me babble through so much crap. Who knows basically everything about me and chooses to love me anyway.
2. Molly - who convinces me that God knew what he was doing and that's why I had to wait so long for her.
3. Abby - who shows me everyday that God had a sense of humour and even though we were not supposed to have her, she was supposed to be the light of my life.
4. Mom - we had storms and we have had healing to do. I am so glad she is still here to share life with.
5. That man I live with - who has time and again allowed me to discover that I am strong enough for anything.
6. The sunshine.
7. The rain from yesterday.
8. Dove extra dark chocolates - I have steady reached for these today, just to read the affirmations in the wrappers.
9. The miracle of modern medicine - the migraines no longer send me to bed.
10. I survived a cancer diagnosis.
11. The quiet and stillness of the house when everyone else is asleep.
12. A coke and a candy bar
13. Knowing that I am a child of God and that I will never be truly alone.
There you go. 13 blessings. I tag any of you readers to come up with your own 13.
Have a wonderful day. Mine is going to get better.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
That's me today.
Buffeted by the storms.
Death of a friends child.
Hurt about other things.
Trying to come to terms with so much.
Unable to cross anything off the list.
Changes occuring too rapidly
To allow for recovery time
Tears that refuse to fall
Anger simmering below the surface
Frustration at my loss for words
Unable to identify ways to help myself
Everything around me a dull roar
Old decisions that surface again
To haunt and taunt
Looking for a silver lining
Afraid I might find it
And also afraid I might not
Feeling like the demons could grow strong again
Was there something I could have done diffferently
Sudden death- unexpected
My dad - an accident
Gaping whole in my heart
Nathan -3 years old - an accident - drunk driver was his own mother
Gaping hole in my heart
Derrick - unexplained reasons for now
Brings all those old wounds to the surface
Its easier if someone is sick
To accept the death
At least you have something to tell the heart
Your heart may not listen
But you can send the message
I know my heart will heal
There will be scars
I cannot allow the scars to make me ugly
I will make those scars a part of the textures of me
I will trust and love and care
I will open again
I will still be as fragile as the rose
I will still be as strong as the thorn
I will choose not to injure with those thorns
I will choose to be beautiful - even after the storm.
Sorry guys - tough day. Be back tomorrow or Thursday with some MaggieGrace goodies.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Now - the title was about sisters. Tracey and I at times hated each other. We fought. We made up -still do. She always felt like I set too high a standard academically. She felt like I made her dating life difficult. (at 14 my boyfirend was 23) Long story. As we have aged, we have become much closer. My Mom drives us crazy at times and she and I are the only ones who understand the wry humour it takes to deal with that situation. She has 2 boys, I have the 2 girls. We are similar and yet different. And I love her and her family.
Fast forward to Friday. These beautiful faces are the very center of my world. They are similar and yet different too. They are 3 years apart, so less competion between them. They fuss, they feud, they giggle, and share. I am such a proud Mom. They support each other. They help each other. They share - clothes. makeup, hair stuff, shoes, advice. They bring united petitions to me and Dad (how can we say no when they both plead). And I love them.
The magic here. I am a sister and I am my sister's friend. No matter what, whether we agree or not, Tracey and I love each other. Molly and Abby are building that same unending love for each other. We (they) may not always agree, but we (they) will always love.
The one place we all can say what we need to and still be loved. In the presence of our families.
The one place we can hide when the world gets too big to handle. In the presence of our families.
The one place we can celebrate all the joys of ours lives. In the presence of our families.
The one place that understands the inside jokes. In the presence of our families.
Thank you Tracey for becoming my friend. Thank you Molly and Abby for choosing to become friends. The love we share will be recognized for many generations to come.
Have a beautiful day.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Here is the doodle sheet that I had on my desk from several days ago. I took it home and my girls "jumped" on it. Each of them added scribbles and filled in the blanks. Bold and colorful, it reminds me of the colors and pattern on Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner's blogs. It was a load of fun to get it this far.
So then we covered it up and shuffled it around and cut it into atc sized cards.
Check this out. Sorry its so dark and shadowed. I took this last night in the kitchen. Once I cut them, I spread them out and looked at them. Even I was amazed at how abstract and colorful these turned out. I studied them from every angle then dumped the "bling" out on the counter.
I added jewels, feathers, glitter, stickers. I allowed each one to determine its own embellishments. I do have favorites - the lower left one (do you see the bird?) - and the upper right one (blue glitter scrolls). All from the stash I already have.
I do hope these find happy homes. I had a great time embellishing these.
Have a wonderful day.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Welcome to the view from the world in my head. On Saturday, we were sitting at the ballfield and I was crocheting. I finished the last of the squares for my granny afghan. The youth minister from the church was there to watch the girls play and was talking to me.
I have no idea how long he talked, but at some point the conversation finally caught my attention. I had no idea what he had said and I confessed that fact to him. I apologized and said "I was in my own little world." His response - "I think that could be scary." See I am known to be blunt about my thoughts. I can be loud and rowdy and outspoken. Teenagers don't bother me, I see them as the greatest challenge. I don't mind being onstage or in front of a crowd. I can laugh at myself and allow others to laugh at me with no problem. I can prank with the best of them. So in an instant, I assessed that - Yes - my own little world could be interpreted as scary.
But it isn't. So I have been journaling thoughts about my world this weekend and I thought I would share the reality of that dream world.
1. It's quiet. The sounds I want to hear. Birds singing, a waterfall or waves lapping on the shoreline, the squirrels rustling the leaves. No radio, tv. This was a very surprising revelation for me to give the youth minister.
2. A small cabin perched in a thicket of trees. I don't need a lot of space, just a lot of comfort.
3. I awaken on my own and pass the day in complete sync with what my body tells me to do. I rest when I need to, work when I need to, eat when I am hungry, and center all of it with an afternoon stroll and some creative work.
4. Coffee in the mornings, sweet tea the rest of the day.
5. Fireplace (gas logs)
6. Sharing all this with loved ones.
7. A big ol' bathtub, a table small enough for one but large enough for many. Quilts, candles.
8. Furniture you can move easily for a nap in front of the fire or an improptu waltz across the floor.
My little world is full of grace and passion. It centers around taking care of myself and those I love. My little world very much resembles those days of history, when early settlers were far apart, self reliant, capable, hard working, used what they had available, they were adventurous, and determined, and they created the history of this nation. I think the biggest attraction for me is the simplicity of the idea of that lifestyle.
Maybe I really need to go and read Walden again. Or the Little House books. Even the Tahsa Tudor books. I do know that I could not function in that world - current day demands really make it unavailable. But I do enjoy the escape in my mind regularly and MaggieGrace world will capture some of the things I am so attracted to.
I escape there often just to rest and relax my mind. So where do you go when you visit "your own little world"?