Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A round of applause for ....

All of my cyber buddies out there. I have been showered with birthday love from my lovelies. I shared MaryAnn's gift with you already. I also received goodies from Roxanne, Raesha, and a prize I won from Crafty Metallyptica came in the mail also. Fun Fun Fun.

This out of focus picture is a sneak peak at the Queen's goodies - almost ready to go. Loving the bright colors on this one and I USED WHAT I HAD. I will post more - when I know she has it in her hands.

Pictures of my birthday goodies. Roxanne sent the cross stitch book, Raesha the pages, note cards and that really cute pouch in front. Teresa sent the goldstone ring. Loving this all. I never even got to put the ring on though. Miss Molly scarfed it right up - seems it goes with a certain brown outfit she wears all the time.

A fun story triggered by the cross stitch book. It is nursery rhymes and there is a pattern for Tinkerbell in there. When both of my girls were small, they used to call the reflections on the car ceiling - "tinkerbell". They always wanted me to catch the light with my engagement ring and make tinkerbells for them. A watch face or anything shiny would work - but they really enjoyed the multiples that my ring made. Several weeks ago, I was lunching with a friend and in the car on the way, their watch face caught the light and made that reflection on the ceiling - unconciously I remarked - oh there's Tinkerbell. This person - no children - was tickled to hear that story and has remarked that those stories are the kind of thing they regret in not having children of their own. I love that we have those kinds of stories with our girls and they get retold over and over again and again.

Tough week at work - we are short handed - vaction time and I cannot seem to get anything going like normal - I am loading trucks - driving deliveries - receiving items - stocking shelves - waiting on the counter - answering the phone - and waiting on the showroom - I will be ready for the weekend.

Tonight - putting together some button cards and tags.

Hope this finds you all having a wonderful day.


Monday, July 30, 2007

A fairy surprise

FYI - I have 2 places left on my pay it forward post. Please jump on down there and sign up.

At some point this weekend, I found this little surprise on my truck. Tiny little new growth moss that has attached itself to this branch. I like to think that the fairies left it for me as a gentle reminder that we all must grow, even in the most difficult of circumstances. I studied this for a while.

The moss is attached by just a few "roots" to the branch then it explodes into the atmosphere in the stunning grey green color. Those of you who know me will understand that I often think really abstractly. But here is where I arrived.

There are things I am holding on to. My history. My family. My survivor status. My mistakes. My hurts. My fears. Hard feelings about some things. Some of the things I hang onto are necessary and good. Those are the ones I should draw my nourishment from. Others are just deadwood. And I try over and over to let them go. But right now I have gripped them way too strongly.

I have trusted people that I should not have. I have befriended some who have and will betray me. I feel guilty of sometimes taking the easy way out. I don't forgive easily - myself or others. I bailed on a work situation in the past and have done my best to handle it with integrity, but have found that that did not happen from the other end. And I want to retaliate - knowing its wrong. And those things are heavy in my mind right now.

I have talked about this at great length with my best friend who is considering a major change in career. I feel cynical about what I said because of my experience. My words - "you will be thrown under the bus, because of who you work for and with. They are not people of integrity. Even if you want this to be professional and as painless as possible, they won't let it be." Why does this bother me? Because I have tried to act with integrity and others do not. I should be so far above this, but it makes me mad to know that they are trying to degrade who I am and what I stand for. The proper way to respond enforces my belief and choice of action. They way I really want to respond enforces what they are saying about me. So there it is. I have made the decision to do the right thing yet again.

So the fairies did leave me a message. A tiny branch of encouragement. The thought process leaves me with the knowledge that I have to let go of the bad stuff (yet again) and hang on to just what nourishes me well. The friendships that support and encourage me well. Those who will publicly support me even if I am dead wrong about something and then in private tell me what they really think. I have to leave the guilt and anger behind of things that happened in the past. Then I can grow no matter what.

I tossed the branch back into the growth around where I was parked. The moss will continue to grow and so will I.

If this post makes absolutely no sense to you, I am sorry. It all made sense to me.

MaggieGrace Goodies tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day

Friday, July 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by Rebecca Sower

This is a Rebecca Sower image from flickr.
I have been a reader of her blog for quite some time as well. Out of Hand is the name of her blog. These little do wap ditties are her way of passing time on trips. Seems that most of us creative types have the need to always be working with our hands.

Even if I am the driver, my mind continually wanders through the creative process. The next project. The ideas (many not captured) flow freely. I do carry a notebook all the time and I try to record the ideas as I can. The notebooks are reflective of where I am, what I am reading and seeing. I can go back through them and still bring back the flood of memories from that day.

I leave tonight for a work trip - never mind the work part - I have the yarn for crochet washcloths - I have the tiny acrylic yarn for the doll blankets - I have the Noah's ark embroidery - and I have the Queen's stitching project - and I have some boxes and pages and glue to decopage some boxes for the studio. Will I finish all this - not even. But since I am ADDHD about my projects - flitting around and jumping from here to there - I will have plenty to choose from.

About the studio - we now have the door to hang and that will happen next week (maybe). Then more insulation.

I am trying to get enough stuff made up for a fall art/craft show in my small town. Hopefully this will happen and I can make a little cash from what I do. I washed some lace last night and hung it to dry. I will starch and iron it on Sunday night.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. My evenings, I do hope will be relaxing, with good food and conversation. I have a friend who will be there as well.

See ya Monday.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Still a Redneck...

This is not a political blog. There are plenty of those. This is not a hollywood watch blog. Plenty of those too. But right now I have something on my mind that I want to say.

You can give a redneck money, but you cannot give them class. Photo illustrates this perfectly. Really expensive SUV, jacked up tall enough to walk under. WHY?????? Cause the gene is there.

I am not a sports fan, but I do not want people like Michael Vick having an influence on my children. Talent - hell yes. Incredible athlete - no argument. Worthy of being a role model to anyone's children - absolutely not. This is not a race issue with me either. This is about arrogance and the feeling that he is above the law. He is - in my way of thinking - nothing more than a rich (as my Nanny would say) hoodlum.

The same feeling of being "better than everyone" and "above the laws" prevails in Hollywood circles. Linsay Lohan, Paris, Richey, Brittany. They have no resepct for anyone else, and they have no self respect either.

If you are a public figure in anyway, you have to understand that there are people watching you. You are in a position to make incredibly good things happen or you can draw young people into the nightmare of watching you destroy yourself an maybe even having those watching choose your path.

I know of what I am speaking in a small way. I was the youth director. In that capacity, I had to make public choices that may not have been what I really wanted to do. I was careful in restaurants to make sure no one could interpret my drink as alcohol. I was careful in my attire. If I was with those children, I tried to choose my words carefully. I tried to protect "my" kids from any word or action that could be misinterpreted. Notice - I say tried. I may not have always been successful, but I took the role seriously enough to continually try.

Jake Westbrook is a major league pitcher. His parents live near me. Jake grew up in my town. Played ball for the same high school my girls attend. He takes the public part of his role seriously. He will sign an autograph, even if someone disturbs his dinner. He loves the way kids look up to sports figures as role models and he wants to give them a positive picture. He is not so arrogant to think like the falcons quarterback. (Vick in an interview said in effect it doesn't matter what I get myself into, my fans gonna love me anyway.) Jake wants to re-earn the respect and adoration of his fans with every pitch and every performance. This young man is worthy of my respect - others are not.

I am proud of the circle of people I call friends. I am proud of the cyber friends I have found through all of you. I know that my daddy can look down at me and be proud of how I turned out. Did I make mistakes? Did I screw up royally? Sure did at times. Am I arrogant enough to think, I am above the consequences of those mistakes - not in the least. Have I improved myself as I have aged? I sure hope so. Do I strive to be a better person every day? In every way possible.

Respect - it is hard earned and so easily lost. Think hard about your actions. It is that important.

Hey Mr. Vick, Lindsay, Brittany, Paris, Nicole - would your grandmother be proud of you right now????? Do you care???

Have a great day people.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What is with blogger? I can see my last post if I go through the dashboard - but not if i go via the address.

Can you guys see the post with the blue fabric??????

Random Ramblings -- again

Just look at this fabric. It doesn't seem old, but to me it has a wonderful vintage feel. It was in a bundle I bought at a thrift store in Dawsonville, GA. several big pieces of various colors and weights. All cotton and only 1.50. These blue print squares are already cut and I think I will use them for a quilt top as is. I would love to find some really neat grey to use with this. I have some blue that will work. Maybe by the time I get to it, the grey will have presented itself. This is last of what I bought on my birthday trip. Note - everything I have shared in the last few days was purchased for less than 50.00 and that is the amount my mom gave me as my birthday gift.
These hankies (and several more) below were in that bag of lace. The brown one will be going to a new home soon. I put it in the Birthday pile for a special friend.

There were also some kitchy travel ones that are destined for another friend's house too.

I did almost finish the stitching last night for a skinny pillow I am making. I saw these lovely vintage ephemera skinny pillows over at Lauren's blog and loved them. I am adapting the idea to my look. We'll see how it works out.

Right now I am planning an away work weekend and I found a recipe I want to try over at Dawn's place. When I am on this work assignment, I alway cook and eat in. It's in an out of the way location and they put us up in condos nearby. Unlike the KBIS trek(Chicago is the location for next spring) where everyone goes out constantly, I use this time to pamper me and cook and create. I may not even turn on the tv. There will be music and candles though.

Last night Molly had soccer. I finished up my duties as a softball mom. Abby stayed at the field with her Dad finishing up softball Dad duties. I had my house all to myself. This does not happen often. I sat quietly in the chair stitching and was simply relaxed and happy. I can see the studio affording me this luxury often as well. When I get to that "place" - there are no worries - I am doing the things I love - the money issues are far away - the strife that has been my life of late is far away - I can let my mind wander around the beauty of creating. I can process inspirational ideas. I can ponder and pray. For 2-1/2 hours last night that is just what I did.

Tonight is volleyball again - so I will work on something in my bag. I have no idea what I will carry with me for crafting this weekend. I am thinking the makings for those tiny little granny square doll quilts are what I will be doing. Maybe some embellishements that ohters can incorporate into creations. Not really sure right now. I do know that I am looking for an old hardside suitcase to convert into a craft carryall.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I am not really all that girlie...

But I am finding my self so attracted to vintage lace and soft colors. Loving some what I see over at Andrea's and Lauren's. I cannot explain it. There are others who are visually indulging this attraction as well.

So - yet another of my finds from my birthday outing. Lace. Eyelet. Organdy. This bag was $10.00 in a junk store. It also included hankies like 8 of them and the same booth had hankies at 3.00 ea so I feel like I got a killer deal.

Just look at this girlie softness..........

I will be washing and ironing and packaging some of this to sell. Some of it will be staying at my house. I really can't wait to unravel and see what all really is there.

I have one more post of birthday goodies I found and it will be the hankies from this bag. Then I have family goodies to share. My lovely mother-in-law, Ann, brought my birthday gift on Sunday. Scrapbooks. Thank you Ann. She also brought vintage family goodies. I'll be sharing those in tomorrow's post.

I hope this finds you guys having an incredible day.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday - Monday

Doesn't look like much does it? 2x4 frame structure - blue construction foam insulation - drywall screws. What it is - the back wall of the studio (barn) This is where we started on Saturday morning after a really long Friday night. Sometime after midnight we hear a firetruck come by the house. Then another and another and another. They didn't go very far, so we knew that one of our neighbors had a problem. Seems one of our farmer neighbors baled and put up hay too quickly and the internal heat had caused a barn full of hay to go up in flames. Firetrucks went back and forth all night to get more water. They saved most of the barn structure but lost vehicles and all the hay and a tractor and other equipment. As of this morning that pile of hay is still smoldering and covering the area with smoke.

Still tired, we started on Saturday putting windows in. I bought these at a salvage palce because they were the size we needed. Three windows already framed. Should be a piece of cake right? Wrong. This required the big Sawzall. Lots of drill power. The siding is old and had to be reattached outside in more than one place. Some of the siding is metal - some really thick wood. Anyway after a really long day ......

We arrive here . Three new windows, a wall of insulation and tape, and a tiny bit of wiring. The storm door is waiting for its new structure and outlet boxes are where I think I want them. (don't ask - I have change my mind about that more than once) There is a pile of storage pieces waiting to move into the new home. For you really observant people - the center window is different. They only had two alike but the center one was the same dimensions. The little extra light these let in is wonderful. No need to clean them yet, more construction occurring. But this is progress and I desperately needed to see progress.
Another of the finds from my birthday outing. Why am I attracted to the "end lots"? These are bobbins off some machine. Tiny cotton threads. I have not even started sorting this out, but I love those little tapered bobbins that I can see in there. The cotton content will allow these to be crocheted into tiny embellishements and/or hankie, blanket and pillowcase trims.

I have a couple more things to share from that trek - then we must be off to more MaggieGrace goodies.

Note - I am participating in the Pay it Forward challenge. I do hope I can get three of you to sign up. Go one post back to play.

I have also accepted a challenge from MaryAnn to submit artwork to a magazine. I am terrified that my work won't be up to the quality of what they expect, but I think I am going with a Cloth Paper Scissors challenge.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Monday.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pay it forward

I got this from Ann-Margaret - also saw it on MaryAnn's blog - I think it's a wonderful idea.

“PAY IT FORWARD. The first three people that leave a comment and pledge to pay it forward to three others on their blog will receive a handmade gift from me within one year (July 20, 2008) of this posting. I will read your blog and get the essence of who you are to come up with an idea.”

To the Letter

More of my finds from last Saturday. Old wooden type. According to lady I purchased them from they came from a sign maker. Most of them had been picked through so there were very few vowels left - no "m" - no "n" - you get the picture. I went through and simply picked a few that I liked.

I had all my hair cut off yesterday. I have worn it all lengths - including a stint of coke can red spikes. I had it cut pixie short yesterday. Receiving mixed reviews on it this morning. I like it. It turned out a little shorter than I wanted but I still like it.

Predicting a horrible day at work - no tubs in stock - tub truck late - no toilets in stock - crazy busy and people are cussing. Including me.

On the creative front. I am working on the Queen's birthday gift. I can't show that. So the pickings will be a little slim on current stuff for a few days.

I have been gathering various storage solutions for the studio and prepping them for use. I found several jars with the wire and gasket closure for 50 cents each. I have an ammo box scubbed up and ready for paint. It will hold all the craft paints. Of course the stamp shelf and louver door cabinet are ready. Just waiting on the man at my address to get into attack mode for construction work again. I guess the lastest request for tips would be how to make that happen.

I hope this finds you all happy and healthy. Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fun stuff -

Good morning all. This is just a fun post. No drama. No whining. Thanks for listening to me for the last several days.

I spent some time with my Mom last night. When I got there, she asked for me to take some pictures. Her snake plant is blooming - something we had never seen. I kill silk plants so I am easily impressed with this kind of thing. She effortlessly grows anything. Take a look - cool huh.

Mom had fallen during the day. She lost her balance cleaning out some stuff. She's okay - just banged up. Coming to terms with the fact that she can't do it all weighs heavy on her. I sometimes wonder if she is trying to prove something to herself by trying to do things without help. I have been the recipient of some fun stuff as the result of this cleanout. (like I needed stuff) Take a look - Old craft mags from the 70's and 80's.

I brought these home last night. (3 boxes full) I sat down in the recliner and started to look through them (anybody else out there who can entertain themselves for hours doing this) before I knew it Miss Molly has pulled up a chair and is laughing and giggling over the clothes, decor, and hair. Dad watched for a little while, but freaked out and went to bed. Seems he suddenly realized that Molly had grown up. He commented later - she laughs like I do. She finds humour in the same things. She and I have become very close. We had a great time for about two hours before bed. I love it when the mood is easy and conversation is lighthearted. Even then I realize I am influencing her and creating tiny memories that will reccur with that flashback feeling years from now.

She leaves for camp today and Abby comes home from the beach. We'll have the weekend with just her. That should be fun too.

I'll post some images from these mags as they strike me.

I get my packrat tendencies from both my parents. Mom has kept "basically everything" for so many years. She also produced a Little Black Book last night. As I thumbed through the pages of one of the diaries she kept, I got more and more quiet. There were dated diary entries. There were lists. Recipes. Addresses. Phone numbers. All in one book. Moving and ordinary and I am thrilled that every page still exists. Profound to me - but just a basic thing for her. I did snap a quick picture of one page. This is the beginning of several pages of plans and addresses and guest/gift lists from her baby shower just before I was born. How cool is this?

There are the same kinds of lists here for her bridal showers. She even shared a story about almost cancelling one of the showers. Her miscellaneous shower was in the cold weather months. All the plans were in place. Decorations done. Food prepared. Peple coming with no way to contact them. And they almost cancelled it even after every one got there. But they went on with it. Mom had her miscellaneous wedding shower on November 22, 1963 - the evening after Kennedy was killed in Dallas.

Last night was a good night. I learned things about my Mom and Dad through her entries. I gleaned that wedding shower tidbit. I spent time as her daughter and as her friend. Then I went home and spent time with my daugter as her mother and as her friend. The circle of life - to use the lion king movie phrase - I saw it last night - I absorbed it last night. More importantly my heart felt it last night and recognized it. Those are moments of sheer bliss, sheer beauty, sheer joy. Moments when you are completely in the moment and there is nothing between you and the experience at all. You cannot force it to happen. It just unfolds and there it is. Evey time I realize that it has happened, I thank God for it.

I wish you all many of those moments in your life. Have a wonder-filled day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Still pictures from the weekend

A detail of a yo-yo quilt in an antiques store.

Look at the lovely colors. I have a quilt made in this style on the wall in my hallway. Another post. This was way out of my price range. This one is made from vintage flowersacks but it was an unusually large size and price tag. I have tons of scrap fabrics and want to make one of these someday.

Looking at it made me wonder. You know how I get. I ponder things. Saturday was a good day for that. Charles and I often ride in complete silence. When we go into a shop it is not a stay right together thing. We all spread out and only discuss as we bump into one another. Anyway - I got sidetracked.

The kinds of things I wonder. Did the maker of this quilt buy the flour with thought to the colors she wanted in this quilt? Did she plan the layout and execute that plan? Was it a project she worked diligently to complete? Did she make a few of these yo-yos as she had the time and store them? How/where did she store them? Are these made from the leftovers of other projects? These quilts (coverlets) are basically useless - did the maker just want something pretty to look at? Is this the way she relaxed at the end of the day? I lay scrap projects out and then move them around until the look appeals to me - did she work that way? Why do I always assume the maker was a she? Those are the kinds of things I think.

I will say that my mental and emotional outlook is much better. I am creating again, but I wanted to share my finds and inspirations from the weekend through this week. There will be made by me items next week. It feels good to have that mojo back.

I will say about what happened last week - trust and forgiveness are easy for some things - other things make it a much more difficult process. I find myself obsessing about what happened and when I get it on my mind, it is as if it just happened. The person who betrayed me reads this and is even more upset that I have shared it. Reminder to the guilty party - this is my space. I am really glad you read it. I welcome you here. If you will just absorb what you read here, you will have a much better picture of who I am and what I stand for. You will see the message I want to share with the world and the message I want to share with my girls. And you will find that I have a low tolerance for behaviors and attitudes that are not under the umbrella of right, fair, empowering and encouraging. You have children - try hard to think what you would say to them if they brought this kind of situation to you for advice. I'm not sure what you would tell them - at one time I thought I knew - but now I really don't feel like I know you at all. I am trying and you need to know it is an act of sheer will to not attack over and over again. And when I am hurt - I will attack and saw your legs off at the knees. I don't like that part of me, but it is there and I accept that. Enough already about that.

I jump from project to project so often and last night I started yet another one. Miss Vallen has a birthday coming up that took me by surprise, so I am pulling something together for her. The louvered cabinet is finished. Am I the only one who has several projects going at one time? I will be traveling again the weekend of July 27th and I want to get the cowboy quilt ready to be what I work on at night. Somehow stating that as a goal here gives me the incentive to make that happen.

I hope you have enjoyed the inspiration of the pictures from the weekend. I have an image in my mind that I didn't capture on camera though and I regret that. This color combo keeps haunting me though and I think it might appear in something. As we were walking back to the car on Saturday, we passed beneath a deep red/fushcia crepe myrtle. Individual tiny blossoms had fallen off that tree onto the weathered concrete sidewalk below. That mottled grey of the sidewalk sprinkled with those dark fuschia blooms is hanging around in the back of my brain.

Is there that kind of image that haunts your memory? Share it with us. How many hours do you spend on Flickr, chasing just those kinds of images? Have you stumbled across something on the web that you would like to share? Do you ponder things like I do? Share some of your ponderings with us.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The real reason for the trip

The real reason for my choice of direction for Saturday's outing. What other reason is needed for a fabric junkie? None - absolutely none.

That reason !!!!!!!!

Magical Threads
315 Church Street
Dahlonega, GA 30533
706-867-8918 phone
706-867-9253 fax

Quilters heaven - literally mountains of fat quarters. Acres of fabric bolts. Scores of samples. An overwhelming smorgasborg of supplies. Charm packs. Itty Bittys. ( a personal favorite)

What is an Itty Bitty? A tiny little piece of a fat quarter. Perfect for stash building. Rolled up and bundled with those tiny hair elastics. They keep these in baskets around and I could literally spend hours looking at just those.

This quilt was easily my favorite. Like looking through a window grill onto the garden.

Magical Threads is in an old house with those rambling rooms that I love anyway. Little tucked away corners. Every turn will bring a new gasp of excitement. I was absolutely overwhelmed by all of the selections. Upstairs there's more. And then a building out back with yarn (I did not venture in there - too dangerous)

The samples are abundant. Well constructed. Beautifully displayed. This is a detail of a vest with a woven ribbon effect. Absolutely stunning - sorry for the blur - I was excited. The books and patterns and magazines abundant.

Everything is abundant.

This caught my eye because I am trying to decide what to start for a new baby in the church. This may just be the pattern and I bought some adorable floral fabric to use. Looks like just a floral until you study it, and discover the tiny little birds and bunnies.

Their website is well designed too. With patterns and fabrics and notions. The samples for their free online patterns are displayed in the shop as well.

Lastly - the real reason this shop is successful. If every employee treats customers the way I was treated - this shop will be forever successful. Amy greeted me in that Southern Hospitality style. Warmly. Made me feel welcome. Gave me an idea of the layout of the shop. Asked if I needed help. Understood that I needed time to just drool. She was efficient and friendly and knowledgeable. Made me feel as if I could be the one customer who made her day. (I later saw her make every other customer feel just that special) Amy is just as big an assest to this shop as the inventory and the ideas.

About the fabrics - I asked about internet orders. They will take them, but back to Amy's making me feel important - she suggested a phone call instead. That personal service is the key. They will take a phone order and credit card information and ship it to you.

I will definitely go back to this shop - will go out of my way to shop with these people. Some points I want to make about the things this shop does right.

1. Beautiful setting - made me feel like they were interested in my business before I ever set foot inside. (Mr Atkinson enjoyed the front porch as well)
2. Friendly, courteous, not pushy greeting.
3. Knowledgeable staff. - by all means shop owners -take the time to train your staff - it's that important.
4. Inventory.
5. Samples - patterns - kits - well thought out displays.
6. Willingness to make the customer feel welcome and special.
7. The extra touches. (Like the itty bitty bits) Surprises. These do not have to be expensive items. Another of my favorites was the little bean bags they had sitting on every cutting table.
8. Keep it fresh - rearrange things - add new - sometimes a new display will sudden be just the new hot item, even though it has been in the shop for a long time.

As I left this wonderful shop, I was thinking about why I will drive 75 miles to shop there again. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fabric selections (stunning and varied) - IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOW I WAS TREATED FROM THE MOMENT I ENTERED THIS SHOP.

So ladies if you are in the area - stop by - it will be well worth your while. If you do - tell Amy I said hello

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Notes on a Birthday Bash Weekend

Yes - Saturday was the big day. Note - my teens had not much to do with my birthday. They have their own lives - ya know. On Friday night, we had dinner with another couple. ate at Bob's Small Town Grill in Royston, GA. If you are anywhere near here, well worth the time and expense of this place. We met David and Melissa and had wonderful adult conversation over antipasto - roasted potatoes - crab cakes - steak - and shrimp. Wonderful Food. Great conversation. AND ----- the realization that we have never gone out without at least some of the children.

Up early Saturday morning for a trip into the foothills of the mountains. Tomorrows post will continue this story, the real reason for the selected destination city. A hint - the quilt shop of all quilt shops.

Breakfast at The Buzz - my local coffee shop - a stop almost everyday on the way to work. Tracy is warm and friendly. The food is well prepared. The teenage staff are all friends of my girls, so we are always catching up on the latest while we are there. Again if you are near Danielsville, GA - you really should stop. Tell them Molly or Abby's mom sent you. I am a coffee purist- coffee and creamer for me - Mr. Atkinson is the one - the customer of a coffee shops' dreams - he is the Grande Caramello. Me being a people watcher - I noticed many of those big burly guys ordering those kinds of drinks. Melissa is a specialty drink person too. She want the mocha spice or the chocolate almond or a caramello herself.

This picture in no way shows just how neon orange this blanket is.

Off to Dahlonega, GA - home to the nation's first gold rush. You can still pan for gold there. We hit the antique mall first. This is only one of the things that caught my eye. Actually it caught everyones eyes. neon - glow in the dark - oh my God why would anyone make this orange.

This little mall was fun but...

A tiny little doll hoosier cabinet. This really wanted to come live at my house but alas, I have no idea where it would go.

Then we went down the street to the next one. As I opened the door - I was greeted with a warm southern "Good Afternoon" This place was warm and friendly and the chatter among the patrons was almost as stimulating as the visual feast inside. My kind of store - I snapped pictures and instead of being reminded that photos are not welcome - the ladies asked about why. I explained about MaggieGrace and gave them a card with my blog address on it. They shared this information with everyone at the counter. And I tossed the USE WHAT I HAD idea for just the day. More about that later in the week too.

There was crafting as well. This is a 6 row granny square in the palm of my hand. Made with basically "thread" and the smallest steel crochet hook. I have to have the all lights on to see this hook eye and work with this. The plan - keep some of this by my tv chair and make these tiny squares to assemble into doll blankets. What is this you say.

Well it was a weak moment. I bought some punch craft thread in a junk store. Not much really - well maybe more than I thought. You know those tins of popcorn available around Christmas. The really big ones. The ones you can use as a footstool or toddler chair. Well......

It was full of all this thread -- over 100 spools -- lots of colors - all but 8 spools were acrylic - those 8 were pearl cotton - look it's a visual feast - and now I need to use these - I will be using these for lots of projects I am sure. Tags - Tassels - and Doll afghans. You know I don't sit still well and this will be a fairly easy to carry project. Yes - I was unable to resist buying - but it was my birthday.

The ladies at this place were warm and friendly as well. We shared VBS ideas and craft ideas and other conversation.

My children and their friends did sing happy birthday. Via cell phones. Best Friend left a message at 1:28 am saying happy birthday - I am sure there was alcohol involved in that late hour. Mr Atkinson tolerated the phrases - stop - turn around - look there's a cool store - and other such statements all day.

But the highlight of my day - no picture to document this - a 3.00 chocolate dipped strawberry from the candy store. This thing was as large as the palm of my hand. Decadent - sweet - juicy - dipped in dark chocolate. A lovely end of the shopping in Dahlonega and a savored treat - small things are really the best if they are adeqautely appreciated.

More pictures of thrifted and junked and purchased items to come. A post about what makes a welcoming shopping experience. All later in the week.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Warning - this post could make you so very jealous of the friends in my circle. Yesterday - my monsters (Molly and Abby) called and I had a MaryAnn package delivered by Mr Postman. They asked me if they could open it and of course I said okay. We all love MaryAnn Packages. Well they opened it and then would not tell me what it was. They even wrapped it back up for me.

I had been notified by the guilty culprit that a surprise was on the way for my birthday. She also predicted laughter. And BOY was she right. Just take a look at my wonderful new art piece.

It came with a card explaining that she recognized that I needed no crap (craft) stuff. So she made me a cheerleader. My word do I need one of these lately. This is a "to die for" piece. Pink - a MaryAnn signature color - and black - and sparkly - and fun.

I am having a hard time deciding where I want this to hang. I want it to be somewhere that I will see everyday. Would I have made this? Nope - not the style I choose to work. Do I love this - oh yes - And to have an artwork created just for me by a friend that I love and respect so much is the most wonderful gift I can have. I hope she appreciates her gift as well.

Big hint drop - Miss MaryAnn's birthday is early in September.

Thank you - thank you - thank you. For the cheerleader but more for your inspiration, support, and encouragement. I love ya girl.

Now for more fun and inspiration. Molly was BORED - as she put it - yesterday. So she broke out the paper and the pastels and decided to create herself. I am a mixed media - fiber - paper person, but Molly can paint and draw and I am so impressed. Look at my gift from her for the big event. An oil pastel eye.

Stunning isn't it. Created on an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of card stock. This will go in the studio. She even knows where she wants it to hang. Notice they eye is clear - not a crying eye - and her message was one of encouragement as well. (I have shed way too many tears the last couple of weeks) I can't wait for framing on this one.

I finished painting the louver cabinet and packing Abby up for a beach trip. I started on gluing the book pages inside, but it got late and I cleaned up. Will finish it tonight. I do hope to make some studio progress in the next couple of days. Really need to get a WIP photo posted for you.

A HUGE THANK YOU as well for all of the links people dropped yesterday. I have toured through and learned a few new things for my kids at church and I have forwarded all of them to Mandy.

Thank you again MaryAnn. You are such a blessing in my life.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A call for helpful links

You know I cannot post without an image. This is a Dover free image from my subscription. You can right click it and download it for your use if you like.

I have a special request from all of my buddies out there.

Mandy is a friend of mine. An artist and a beautiful young lady. She has finished school and will be starting a new job in the fall. She will be the art teacher for an elementary school. Working with kids from kindergarten through 5th grade. I was talking to her mom last night and she asked me for some ideas or links to ideas for Mandy to consider in her curriculum.

The school doesn't provide a ton of money, so she will need quick easy and inexpensive ideas for 5 years olds to 10(11) year olds.

Now, knowing how generous bloggers are, I am issuing a plea for these kinds of links and ideas. Please leave a comment (or multiples) as you find ideas she can use. I have my blogger account set up to notify me when a new comment arrives, and I will forward those to Mandy. Best wishes and kind regards for her will be appreciated too.

A good teacher in any subject can make a huge difference in a child's school career and I am so excited for the children who will get to know Mandy. She loves kids and she loves art and I know she will be a wonderful teacher for these kids.

So my blogger friends, share your information. Share your encouragement. Do what you do best? Inspire and encourage someone. This is the perfect opportunity to delurk here. I am also going to open my blog for all to comment, so you won't even need a blog yourself.

A message for Mandy - best wishes dear and talk to me. You really need your own blog. -- Teresa

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just What I Needed

What is with blogger? The picture at the bottom is tiny. Last night - still feeling the stress of the last several days - I decided a movie was in order. Off to the video store. And two movies arrive back at my house with the intention of settling my spirit. I had no idea how wonderful the one I watched would be. Seen several posts about it. Wondered about it myself.


Will you find sex? Not even a hint.

Violence? Nope.

Nudity? Only if you consider the top of ones boots as that.

Horrible language? Not the first word.

Love? Absolutely

Passion? At it's best.

Friendship? well represented.

Realationships? both supportive and strained.

Respect? In every dealing.

"Miss Potter" ranks up there as an immediate favorite. A gentle movie. Good for my soul. Healing in parts of its message. Demonstrating respect even in disagreement. A message of love and loss and passion for one's work, whatever it is. The makeup is appropriate. The wardrobe perfect. And the scenery - I am ready to live there.

My favorite scene - Miss potter refusing to be lectured to after she buys a farm at auction. The gentleman trying to admonish her was the developer she was bidding against and she stood her ground in one of the most eloquent quotes of the movie. Loving that. She had discovered herself and her mission - and not one person was to get in her way.

It was a beautiful movie and I can recommend it to everyone. Young and old alike. I could not have had a more perfect frame of mind to watch it.

MaggieGrace finished painting the inside of the shutter cabinet last night. First coat for the outside tonight. Then I pampered myself and watched that movie. Took the night off. Lost myself in a world not my own. I feel better this morning. We'll see if I have more good moments than bad today.

If you have seen "Miss Potter" please leave me a comment about you favorite scene or any aspect of the movie you would like to share. If you haven't seen it - please do - it is well worth it.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The latest storage solution. Several days ago I mentioned a louver door cabinet that I had rediscovered. This used to sit on my bathroom counter with makeup & such in it, but the doors were aggravating to open in that set up. I will be painting it black with the decopage pages inside - like the stamp shelf. The plan is to use this for adhesives and such.

I started painting it last night and it has to be old, because the first coat of paint inside soaked into the wood at an alarming rate. So there will be multiple coats required. The girls will do the decopage inside. I cannot really figure out why I am so drawn to this look right now, but I am and we will use it. I am looking at additional storage items to reuse and repurpose as I continue getting ready for the move. According to Mr. Charles - he will be taking some time off this week to work on the studio some more.

Miss Abby decided that shrimp was her dinner choice. I added chicken (Molly doesn't eat shrimp) a salad, baked potatoes, and cheescake. We had a great dinner and I really enjoyed my Mom visiting.

Emotionally, I don't feel creative, but getting a coat of paint on that cabinet was a step in the right direction. I am tired as well (stress keeps me up) and that caught up with me, so I was in the bed reading at 9:30 last night, and fell asleep in one of those hard sleeps that is not as restful as it should be.

I want to send a welcome home shout out to the Queen Mother. Vallen's mom is home and I am so happy that she is doing so much better.

Tonight's plans - another coat of paint on the cabinet, maybe a little sewing on the cowboy quilt, and a start on MaryAnn's birthday gift. Oh and a summer favorite for supper - tomato sandwiches.

Have a great day.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Can't put a title up here today - what is with that???

A photo of a package from crafter and thrifter extraordinaire, Miss MaryAnn. She and I could easily be sisters I do believe. She had a drawing on her blog for these vintage papers and I was the lucky recipient of one of the packs. There is all kinds of goodness in here. It will be converted into a special gift for her. I have already started adding my stuff to the pile and I have a plan.

She and I think so much alike sometimes that it gets scary. See the really cool garden structures book jacket - I just sent her a package of pages from a landscaping book to use in her creations. Guess what - this guy, Aul, wrote only a few books and we each had one. I sent her pages from another of his books. I was tickled to open this and find it. For all you curious ones, I will sneak peeks as I put her giftie together.

About my post earlier - I am trying to find my way through the hurt of a betrayal. One that has rocked the center of my being. I have to be honest - this is huge and it hurts worse than being diagnosed with cancer. I am finding forgiveness to be difficult and learning that I may have to will that act over and over in order to function again. Trust will be even more difficult. One moment I am fine and the next I am either livid or melted down. I will admit that walking away from this would be the easiest path, I am just so sure it is not the right path. I can say that this will be a long term healing process and I am not sure how it will all play out. This act of betrayal has threatened my family and my childrens emotional well being and that has riled the mama bear in me in a big way. The really bad part of it, when I am hurt, I can mow your legs out from under you without any problem and that behavior will add even more hurt to the entire situation.

I did not get to go to the Plum Tree antiques store on Sat. The ballgame schedule was not really condusive. Abby played 3 games - had an hour break - then three more games. They took thrid place in the tourney. We did have a nice dinner at a mexican place complete with acoustical band. The girls really enjoyed themselves - singing along and dancing.

I did get a tiny bit done on the embroidery piece but nothing else. I don't feel like creating. I tried to read on Friday night, but my concentration is just not there.

Today is Miss Abby's birthday. We had cheesecake for the team on Saturday as her party. Poor child, we always play ball at her birthday and her party ends up just being cheescake on the bleachers. We are having dinner of her choice at home tonight and Nomi (my mom) will be there. Then after dinner, I will try to focus my brain on making something creative.

I do hope your weekend was wonderful. I hope a wonderful day is in progress for you too.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Seeing the Light

A fireworks photo taken by Miss Abby on Wednesday night. She was messing with the camera settings and this is one of the results. It is also particularly appropriate to the way my week is progressing. Without going into details here - to protect the guilty - I am having a truly horrid week. This started last week and this week things have come to my attention that are affecting me in a terrible way. I haven't eaten. I haven't slept. Add to that I have a summer cold. And I hate that this is yet another negative start to a post. I am taking a few steps towards nurturing me and that should help. Please think about me while I regroup personally.

Tomorrow we will be playing ball in McDonough, GA. I am really excited because the schedule has a large break for us. That means a trip to Plum Tree Antiques. I do hope Dawn will be there. Dawn writes her personal blog The Feathered Nest and it is a favorite of mine. I cannot wait to see some of her work in person and maybe also take away some display ideas for the store.

I already have the bag packed. The craft bag that is. I have some more of the crochet wash cloths going. I am finally embroidering the background for the Noah's ark wall hanging for my sister. And just in case - I have the Names of Jesus graph with me - to start those for CIP committment.

Remember the list - I have used some of it and have serious plans for more. I am experimenting with a journal idea using some of the scrapbook papers and I have already used several of the tulle circles. I also have started the lettering for my 2008 calendar. It is coming together even more quickly than I thought. I really can't wait to preview it for you guys.

I have a cabinet that I will be finishing similar to the stamp shelf. Using the pages from the postal book and black paint. Seems that the black and red are beginning to define the accents of the studio space. This is a louvered door cabinet that I have had for years and forgotten about. It was tucked behind some stuff in another barn and I unearthed it looking for my sewing cabinet. (another post - another day) I plan to use this one for glues and adhesives and probably paint brushes. Although if it is like the stamp shelf, I have way more of those than I thought.

I am so sorry this rambled on. The explosion of this week has me feeling scattered and injured from the shrapnel. I'll get it back together. Then we can move on with our regularly scheduled program of activities.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Nerissa - please don't look if you haven't received your package.

The Crown/Tiara swap was so much fun for me to work on. It was a challenge to see what I could come up with using what I had. I started with the crochet doily thing and lined it with tulle.

Stiffened with white glue and sprinkled with glitter, I decided that further embellishment was needed.

So I added beads and sequins.

Take a look - Brady is enduring the modeling gig of the crown. Brady was a gift to me from the man at my address in the early part of our marriage and then was kidnapped by Molly as her bear when she was little. Molly is 16 (17 soon) and he still lives on her bed. No sheltered life for him though. He is well travelled and often very abused - such as being forced to cross dress in crowns and things. But he loves her and will do almost anything she asks.

The back of the crown perched askew on Brady's ears. Trailing ribbons are not his thing and he was trying to make a break for it here.

He did manage to escape back to the safety of his perch and the remaining photos are without a willing model. Details of the beading and sequins. The sequins look colored in the pictures. They are not. They are an irridescent white and reflect the colors of the beads in the center.

I stiffened the inside of the crown with some vintage hatband liner. I covered it with satin blanket binding. and it worked really well to help the crown stand up nicely.

But I could not stop with that...

Every princess needs a sceptor. This was made from a wire hanger, wooden heart cutout and various other items in my stash. It is on a base and will stand for display.

Nerissa, I hope you like this. I have to say, this was probably the most challenging swap I have participated in. I enjoyed making this and will make some others in the future.

For all of my cyber friends - Happy July 4th - I will be MIA tomorrow - there will probably be alcohol involved.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Photo heavy weekend post.

What we were doing Saturday late afternoon. Sitting in the car waiting out one of those southern summer severe thunderstorms. What you cannot see in this picture - the wind lifting the truck - tiny little hailstones - lightning popping all around - and the sun just peeking through over that white truck. The girls were playing so well Saturday. Every game was a load of fun to watch for everyone. It is always fun to see the magic when it happens and it was happening on Saturday.

We were kinda dozing in the truck during the storm and my cellphone rang. It was a teammate - Renee - saying look behind you at the fields.

And this is what we saw........

A perfect rainbow. The storm was over and that sliver of sun peeking through had generated this. It arched over the fields making a perfect arch. Later we saw kids playing in the colors. The sherriff's office sent deputies over though - more rough weather on its way - so they canceled the end of the tournament.

Then I get home and find this wonderful little package in the box.

Thank you so much Amy. Fun stuff in here. Pockets and paper and envelopes. Several "t's" and a quick little tag note. These will be put to use on somethng very quickly. Look at the tag made from sheet music. Loving that a lot.

A thrifted plate. I did not buy it. I love covered bridges so much and my Mom found this at a yard sale. She gave it to me as an early birthday pressie. Right now it is patiently waiting to find a permanent home on a wall. There was also a bag of other goodies that I will post about later.

Today's use what I have contribution. I was finishing up a swap package last night. (will post those pictures later) and I had a tiny bit of acrylic medium left in my bowl. I hate to waste it so I made a few quick gift tags. These are simple. Stamps and die cuts on heavy paper.

Now for a shout out to my best friend - HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. He is 10 years and 12 days older than I am and today is his special day. I hope you have a great one and that there are many more celebrations in the future. I am so blessed to have you in my life.

I hope all of you have a great day.