Monday, March 31, 2008

You go east to get west. ...

I am not bragging, but I do have a fairly keen sense of direction. Or at least I thought so. However, Asheville, NC is the most difficult city I have ever driven in. I managed to get on the interstate going the wrong way three different times. Literally - I had to take I26 east to get to west Asheville - that just seems wrong to me. One of those was using directions given to me by someone who lives there - go figure.

Molly and I were in Asheville for a volleyball tournament. Having that college stuff behind us was the best. This was a relaxed and enjoyable event. We had fun. She played really well because she was not worried about which college coach may be watching from the bleachers. Abby and Charles were south of Atlanta at a softball tournament - that was ultimately called off because of rain - the players on our team did not care - they defeated their arch rival team - 7-2.

I came home to find these at my house.

1980's era Workbasket magazines. I was too tired to take the time to look through these. That will be the joyous (and restful) activity for tonight. I did get lots of crochet time and cross stitch time in at the tournaments. (I am working on a little cross stitch do-wah-ditty for Miss MaryAnn - she reads so no sneak peeks.)

I also found a junk store/thrift place/ antique mall on the way home. One of those places that I love to dig through. Out in the middle of nowhere in an old store building - and everything was 25% off. I found one thing for me and the thrifted items for a swap I am in with Ann-Margaret. The rules of the swap are that something has to be thrifted, something has to be handmade, and it all has to be red and green and less than a certain amount of money. I have the handmade item finished. (there are a couple of more in the works) I found a few thrifted items yesterday - in this little shop - one of which I would really like to keep for myself - but I'll pass it on.

One thing I am keeping to use is this little receipt book - I am planning to use some of these pages for tags and other ephemera crafts. For 75 cents, I can eliminate the hoarding tendencies on this one.

It has nice thick board covers. I have no idea what they will become.

Have a great Monday - my girls are on spring break - I have plans to hook up with a blogger buddy - this week for dinner - and maybe get lots of rest.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hold my hand....

Hold my hand, Mom. My heart swelled with emotion. The hand I am holding is roughly the same size as mine, but I remember the tiny fingers as they wrapped around one of mine.
Then I remember holding both hands as she began those first stumbling steps. Then I remember walking her into school that very first day. She held my hand then too. Many more times in all these years.

I took her to school - she grew everyday - in all areas of her life. Many moments of awe on my part.

She looks like her Daddy. I'm the short one in the house. I have watched the young woman emerge. I have watched her work so hard for academic excellence. I have watched her practice sports. I have watched her choose her friends carefully. I've been there when she needed me to hold her hand. I've agonized over those moments when I had to let go. She has made good choices.

Mommy - I love you - said as she draped her arm around my shoulders and grabbed my hand again. The missed photo was the one where she whispered "thank you" in my ear and kissed me on the cheek. Right on the verge of being on her own - but hanging onto these last few moments.

"I love you - you are welcome - I am proud of you." Those were the choked words I whispered back. There is a much bigger message wrapped in and among all those words.

You'll be fine - Moo. We will move into the next stage of this journey. Seemingly apart, but always together.

Build yourself more solid, supporting friendships. Call me when you need me. I'll always be your Mom, but as you experience more and more of life and living it fully, now we will become friends.

I am so proud of who you are and who I see you becoming. I love you so much.

Pictures from Soccer Senior Night 2008 - the last one is of Molly and Brittany (bb) - best friends. We love you too BB.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I am still capable of making things

Darn it - I got side tracked on all that college stuff. Seems the MaggieGrace goodies found themselves pushed to the back burner. But last night found me working in the studio -- man I love that space -- even though it remains unfinished. (Note to all - I will have my birthday party in a finished studio space -- July)

Sorry - went off on a tangent there.

Last night was church - we eat together then have kids activities. I lead music and memory and we sang and danced with the the little ones. Several of us adults talked about the difference people made by being active in our life as small children, specifically those who taught Sunday School and other youth activities. My two favorite ladies were Mrs Fowler and Fran Ray - both of them had a huge impact on me and I remember them so fondly. They are now deceased, but I like to think they look down and see that many of us are continuing the tradition of working with young people.

Sorry - another tangent.

Tonight is Senior Night for soccer. I am in charge of coordinating these activities, but all that I had to "do" was make something to decorate the fence in front of the bleachers. Last night I pulled all the stuff I needed out of the stash and made these. Last year I made some star arrangements and all the kids loved them. Most found their way into scrapbooks.

Inpsired by all of the pennants out there, I made these.

Sizzix die cut letters for the names. Free soccer ball clip art from some site, modified at to add the senior night lettering (love the grunge look letters). Printed the graphic on card stock and cut the pennant shapes.

As I die cut the names - I ran them through my small Xyron sticker maker. You will see that some have bigger stars - that did not last long - the handpunch and the metallic tape did not get along very well. (seemed like a good idea before I started) I regrouped and found some star stickers to use.

For some reason, I seem to collect pipe cleaners. (Hello - my name is Teresa and I have a problem) I hot glued them across the back to made hangers for the chain link fence. I will decide about linking these together when I get to the field.

Thank you blogland friends for the inspiration to make this very quick and eye catching display idea.

See MaggieGrace can still make things.

Have a great day.

Note - I have had a request to email this graphic to another mom for use at their school. I will be happy to do that - It is a .jpg file. Just leave your email in the comments if you would like the file.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

not too much to share ....

right click to download if you like.

Molly is fully enrolled in her choice of college. Feels nice to have that behind us. A huge relief.

I have no positives to share today - so I'll be quick - tough day.

I would like input on the kinds of things we might need to send her off in the fall. I am starting to purchase the small things and stash them away. She even remembered nail clippers as an item to add to the list. Help me ladies and gentlemen - please share your lists. The dorm rooms do not allow microwaves/toaster ovens/ etc. but they do have a refrigerator and there is a microwave available. So if you have recently packed one off to a dorm room - please share your knowledge with me.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Listening .......

I am always interested in people's music choices. I have my favorites, but I am always open to new inspirations. I sing in the car - all kinds of music - oldies - hip hop - new age - blues - You name it - I probably like a song or two in the genre. My favorite CD's are mixed by friends using their favorites. This morning at my desk, I am listening to this young man. Damon Fowler is a blues guitarist - think John Lee Hooker meets Greg Allman. An incredibly talented young man who can play anything with strings. Damon was almost killed in an auto accident and had severe damage to his arm and shoulder - but has recovered and is touring again. I can't wait to see him this summer. (they will be playing near us the week of my birthday)

We first heard Damon's group play along with Pat Travers and Rick Derringer in Tampa. He was young - 23 maybe - playing alongside true guitar greats and I have to say that more than one audience member was impressed. Raw talent. He's got it. Passion for the medium - got that too.

For a treat - click on the link - go to the music tab and listen to 9 full length songs. Bet you become a fan too. Then come back here and let me know what you think. Also please share some of your favorites.

Have a wonderful day -

Monday, March 24, 2008

playing on -

Atlanta started last week ravaged by the storms. Major downtown areas were closed. But the folks at BigSouth Volleyball pulled it off. The event was to be held at the World Congress Center, which gives it an atmosphere that cannot be compared to anything else. The WCC was damaged and could not be used, so many places and people pulled together to allow these girls to play on. We drove 640 miles over three days trips - bought 110.00 dollars worth of gas - and played at the Georgia International Convention Center at the Atlanta airport.

No bleachers at all - no folding chairs allowed - very limited seating around each court - I sat on the concrete floor for three days. People - I am old and today I can tell - stiff and sore - my hips are killing me. I took Friday off for this event and came in to the nightmare that is forgotten materials. I'll be off to make some deliveries in just a little while. (this is the real reason I hate to take off.)

This weekend we play in Asheville,NC. Then a week off. I hope to get lots done on/in the studio while the girls are on spring break.

I will give you another sneak peek of the "green" art quilt. This is my version of a vine. I am still twisting and shaping this before I attach it. Copper electrical wire - I really cannot wait to get this finished. It is one of those projects that I have found myself working on late into the night because I just don't want to stop.

Because my kids are my life - I will leave you with this picture of Miss Molly in midserve.

Have a great day --

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How to lose a bazillion pounds

The weight of the world as I know it is temporarily gone. How do you lose a bazillion pounds? Your 17 year old senior makes a college decision. Yep - we are committed - as of 9pm last night.

Scholarship is academic - for a significant portion of the money. We will fill in the blanks with extra income - MaggieGrace sales - and student loans.

A blurry picture through the observation glass from last night. Molly talking to the coach in the environment they were both most comfortable in.

At the end of the night, she was ready, and made the verbal committment. Coach was doing the happy dance. Molly could not get the smile off her face.

She will be a Lady Lion Volleyball player. Most likely a middle hitter. Pictures of the home gym.

Piedmont College - Demorest, Georgia. Take care of her please. Teach her well. Give her the tools she needs for academic success. Give her the training she needs for athletic success.

Volleyball fans - look for her - she wil be wearing #2 - the same number she has worn for years.

Molly B - Honey - I love you so very much. I am so happy for you. Dad, Abbs, and I will be right there -cheering you on - in the stands - at the other end of the phone - in your heart and soul. Don't forget who you are - don't compromise - you can do anything you set your mind to. Love --- Mom

We ended the night with a banana split from the local Dairy Queen. Our version of a big night on the town. Ironic really - I spent many an anniversary at the Hartwell Dairy Queen. Seems DQ celebrations are a family tradition.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Look what I did last night (g-rated)

Yes it is g-rated. "G" for absolutely great. The pictures are actually out of order. I worked on the studio after the party. But you know - blogger at times is stubborn and difficult - so these will just be posted in reverse today.

Moving along - the big shelf across the back wall is now attached and stable and those are boxes and bags of my stash beginning to move in. Mind you, I still have a long way to go but this feels so good. I am sure things will be moved and adjusted as I figure out what works best for me.

Look way to the left of the first shelf - baby wipe containers. I know my girls are way too old for those. I use the wipes to clean my stamps and to wipe my hands while I work. Also to touch up things as I go. We still keep boxes in the car for clean up. The man at my address keeps them for cleaning while he is working on people's heat and air condidtionsing. Also, since sports are a huge part of life and not all facilities are clean enough for comfort, we carry them in the sports bags.

When I started on this studio, I started collecting these empties. They are sturdy and stack nicely. The free shelf you see will allow them to stack perfectly three high and they are not unsightly. I'll label these as I finalize the contents. (Yes those are Christmas gifts wrapped and ready on that next shelf ---- yea me.)

Another view of the wooden tool box. I love this. First - I have a "thing" for wooden boxes. This one is well crafted. It is a new box, but made in a vintage manner. All of the drawers are felt lined. It is two pieces and the fronts will fold up and lock. Sitting on this shelf makes it a little high for me, but I will just put those seldom used items in that top compartment.
Now for the fun part of last night. A house FULL of girls - literal statement here. This is the reality of my life. We were the soccer team dinner hosts this week.
Not only was this a house full of girls, they came straight from practice. Imagine that - a team of STANKIN" soccer girls. The man at my address escaped to the kitchen porch. We served hamburgers and hotdogs, fries and roasted potatoes.
We laughed at all these monsters. They seemed to enjoy the meal and each other's company. It was a lot of work to pull this off, but it was well worth it.

Heres what happens when you unleash those girls in your house. Various costumes start appearing. This is Jessi - the funny part of the night - she wanted to know just where all my mardi gras beads came from. Since this was a g-rated party - I lied. Wouldn't you?????
Have a great day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

About God's messengers

March 18 mosaic
Originally uploaded by maggiegracecreates

I got nothing this morning to show you. I haven't posted a mosaic in quite a while so I thought I would jump over to flickr and make one. I am absolutely loving the red and white quilt squares and that hanging garland of hearts.

Mosaic Maker is like a digital tear sheet for me. I simply favorite pictures in FLICKR then make my mosaic from that list. I can easily see that I am very predictable in my choices. Just like the huge rolling file cart of tear sheets at home, it has helped define my color preferences and style choices.

My lovely cyber friend Corey is undergoing an incredibly difficult time right now. I am lifting her and the entire family with extra prayer as they care for her very sick father. The story she tells today hurt me so much and brings to my memory the stories of loss that we have gone through.

I will not be offended if you stop reading right here, but I have found this medium to work in very mysterious ways and I am going ahead with this story in the hope that some of these people will read or hear about this and know that they made a difference.

From March through October - my Nanny - Frances Slaton - deteriorated physically and mentally. She fell and had a hip replacement. After the surgery, she was never the same. The reason for her fall was apparently a stroke and many more of those were to come in those few months. The brain damage caused this lady, who kept the church nursery and who stayed with "old" people in their home as a caregiver, to become disoriented and even violent at times. I participated in restraining her on more than one occasion - let me just say - that was one of the most emotionally draining things I have ever had a part of. She started this phase of her journey at Athens Regional Medical Center - spent some time at an Alzheimer's Specialty Facility in Atlanta - then the journey began the end at Hart County Hospital in Hartwell Georgia.

We are a small but close knit family, my mom, my uncle and his wife, me, my sister, our families, two cousins, and their families. Someone was in that hospital everyday. We all have families and jobs and things we had to do. Many a night, I finished working, completed the evening activities with my family, then drove the 35 miles to the hospital very very late and would stay until the wee hours of the morning, go home, shower and go to work doing it all over again. Exhausting - yes - regrets - not a single one.

Now the part about making a difference. The Hart County staff was wonderful - the care my Nanny received was impeccable - the care my family received was astonishing. We knew this journey would not have a miracle cure at the end of it. We knew my Nanny was going to lose this battle. That is a gut wrenching feeling, you grieve for months, exhaustion takes over, frustrations arise, hurt feelings can happen. Not in this case, there were no family arguments, we were allowed, even welcomed into this facility and her room at all hours of the day and night. The nurses arranged a cot for me during those really long nights. There was a tray of sustenance outside her door for us. The most direct way into the wing was an entry off the balcony, just beyond the nurses station - those night shift nurses left that door open for me or allowed me easy access in through it.

Nanny's medical and personal care was handled in a professional, dignified, and caring manner. Even when it appeared she had no clue what was going on, each person treated her as if she was still fully there. They spoke to her, informed her what was happening, told her what to expect if there might be pain or discomfort in whatever procedure. For those of you in the medical field - especially long term or hospice care, my Nanny was bedridden for all those months and only developed one, less than dime sized, bedsore on the back of her heel. That sore appeared less than 10 days before she died. That should suffice as a testimony of the care she received.

Toward the end, Nanny knew none of us, she simply moaned all the time. One night, the one most prominant in my brain, she was terribly restless and seemed uncomfortable and I started singing. Softly, like a lullaby, I sang the hymns I could remember. She would settle down and rest for a while as long as I did that. Being in that mind fog of fatigue, I had a terrible time remembering words, but as I took a stroll down the hall to kind of clear my head a young nurse simply handed me a hymnal from the piano in the assembly area. She had heard me and realized I was struggling. That gesture was one so filled with love and compassion. She had no words for me - just a kind smile and the only help she knew she could give me. She was God's messenger in that moment and I will always remember that she responded to my needs. That was the longest of the nights but also the night I knew God was there and was surrounding all of us with his people.

Again - if you all are still here with me - I write this in the hope that someone will know how much each tiny act impacted us. You may have thought we didn't notice, but we did. I also want each one who reads this to know that if you feel the tiny pull on your heart to DO something, you should. It was a hymnal and a smile - but the message behind that was so much bigger than I can describe.

Reach out - you never know what God has called you to do. Hart County Hospital administration - your people are the kindest and most caring we had dealings with. I thank each one of those people from the center of my heart and soul. Thank you.

Please lift Corey and her family up at this time. My prayer is for healing for her dad, but also that they all be aware that God is there too.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

WIP Sneak Peeks

Good Monday morning all. We survived the wild and terrifying weather of Saturday at our house just fine. Molly was out and about at a birthday thing with her friends - that was unnerving for Mom. Abby and I were home alone and watched all the updates on the news. We did have quarter sized hail for a short time, but no damage at all. Others around us were not so lucky.

The biggest complication for us is in the plans for the weekend to come. Molly was supposed to play in a HUGE - talking 12,000+ players - volleyball tournament at the Georgia World Congress Center. While the event planners have not cancelled the event yet - the GWCC has closed for the venue - the planners of the tournament are scurrying around trying to locate enough courts to play this tournament on. More on that later in the week.

Wednesday - there will be another college visit for Miss Molly - this time more than likely to agree to join the team. More on that later this week as well.

Abby was to play a softball tournament on Saturday. We took a phone call at 1:00 am moving that to Sunday. What a luxury that was. I painted a shelf in the barn and hung some ceiling tiles. Tonight will find me populating that shelf with a few things and preparing to host a soccer team dinner tomorrow night. We are doing hamburgers and hot dogs - with fries and roasted potatoes. Cookies and brownies (those will be purchased and then plated attractively) will end the festivities. Everything is ready at home except for spit shining the kitchen.

After my request for help on those stones - you guys rock - I spent part of Saturday prototyping the attachment method. I decided to use an adhesive called LEXEL. It dries clear and strong. I had a part of a tube left in the man's stuff so it qualifies for the challenge of making a "green" art quilt.

Here is a picture of the "stained glass". I was so excited about the way the center turned out. The colored part finished exactly as I expected but the "clear" part happened by accident. To me the variety of the beads makes this look as though there are shadows of branches coming through. What do you guys think? Completely spontaneous occurance that made me so freaking happy.

Now that the stones are attached and cured, I can proceed with the whole thing. It won't be touched tonight (really not even during the early part of the week) but now I can get on with it.

Thank you so much for your input. Now please pray really hard about this college thing, Mom is having an emotional day, knowing that this will be decided completely before next week.

Oh and take off over to CIP - I've updated over there this morning too.

Have wonderful day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Help - i need ideas please

This will be explained in just a jif......

My buddy is giving away goodies at her place - go over and take a look. little boy things.

Now looking back to the inspirations post where I sketched the quilt submission for Quilting Arts magazine. You see the stone work sketched in on the right side of the drawing. I have finished the stained glass window section and started to assemble it all. That little bowl of pebbles has bcome a huge stumbling block for me. I just cannot figure out how to attach the dang things. The quilt stack is as follows - backing fabric - liner (salvaged felt from the inside of a sofa cushion) - screen wire mesh ( because the whole piece needs to support the weight of the little stones) - then the surface design elements.

I started using a mesh bag to attach the stones , but it looks strange. Then I tried soldering and adding loops to sew them own. There ain't enough money in the world to pay me to solder that many irregular shapes. I thought about glue of some sort, but I am afraid it will not hold. Then, I pondered wrapping the stones in fine gauge wire, but will that destroy the "look" of old stonework? HELP -- I know there is someone out there who can get past the mental block of this issue. Once I get this part complete the rest is easy peasy.

Thanks so much for the support you have already given me and thnak you in advance for the input here. Love ya'll lots.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good God That's Green

Edit to Add --- Go over here and sign up - OMG this quilt is stunning and Dana is giving it away. - So hurry and register ya'll.

Yes that yarn is absolutely that green (maybe even more so). This is the beginning of a single bed sized afghan. Simple double crochet pattern. More opportunity to use up some yarn that has found its way into my stash. I'll be doing one to five rows of rainbow colors as I dig them out of the stash for this one.

I really like the pattern a lot. This one will more than likely end up as the "blanket" miss Molly takes off to college with her. We will see.

I am behind again on CIP mailers. Tonight is a work night for all of that. Feeling scattered and unproductive - although I am working diligently on things.

Full studio update coming soon. I have the shelf across the back wall primed and that is the first thing I will attack when I arrive home tonight. A coat of the final paint color will go on that one. I have decided to use a barn red paint. (influenced by the fact that I already have enough of the paint.) Using what I have - has truely become a way of existence for me. More about that - in paying myself for using what I have, the extra expense of washing clothes at the laundromat has been offset. I simply go to that box for the quarters I need for the trip. Very seldom have I had to dig into the "real" money. That is a huge bonus.

Statement left here because I can hear what is going on at our counter. Most men are complete pigs. None of these guys would talk this way at home, but that seem to think it appropriate for semi public discussion. Not a good start to my day - aggravated by the crude behavior around me. I will not allow them to know because that just causes escalation of the deal.

For those of you who leave me comments - thank you so much - you are wonderful to me. I love hearing from each of you and I treasure the friends I have made through this medium.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Focus .......

John Wesley's Motto: "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can"

The above picture is the group that went on the Jones Chapel UMC Winter Retreat Ski trip. The Yellow lightning bolts are my three monsters. The man at my address and the girls went while I worked for the weekend. Seems that they had a blast.

Miss MaryAnn - generous soul that she is - has a posting today that is well worth reading AND participating in. Not only is MaryAnn generous and caring herself - she is teaching that way of life to her daughter - something every parent should attempt to do.

I have often said that I believe in generosity - of my time and my resources. I donate to the American Cancer Society faithfully. I have participated in many many mission projects through school and through church. Cannot say no to a sweet little child at my door selling whatever. I have gifted many with materials made by me. The food bank and soup kitchen have been on the list for many years. Armed forces support is very important to us. School kits for many kids in our area who truly cannot afford supplies. This is a way of life for me and my girls.

I have also worked dilligently on making sure my kids understand that others are not as fortunate as we are and that is no reason to poke fun or malice towards them. See - in my teens I was one of those kids. My dad was killed in a job accident leaving a single mom with teenage girls. There was a delay in life insurance money and some of the money my parents had saved was tied up by the simple word "and" in the account set up. If we had not had generous friends and relatives we would have lost so much more than my dad. I have no regret for the suffering of that time - but I vowed that as long as I could - I would be generous to others.

Both of my girls have known this entire story, it is a part of who we are. They are nursery workers and teachers in the church. They have served homeless at the soup kitchen. They go to the nursing home. They have supported young girls who made bad decisions and wound up supporting a child of their own.

Philanthropy is a way of life - it is not something you do to gain attention for yourself. There is a local businessman who gives large amounts of money to organizations, but he then wants his name on the building. That aggravates me and my crew so much.

Philanthropy is a way of life - no one can tell you what to do or how much. It is personal and empowering no matter how little or how much as long as it is willingly accomplished.

Philanthropy is a way of life - and it does not necessarily mean giving of money. It can be volunteering your time and/or other resources. I have given many many of those beanie hats away and not looked back.

Philanthropy is a way of life - and it will repay you over and over again. The feeling of knowing you were able to be generous is empowering and at some point - maybe - you will be awarded the view of how your generosity impacted the life of some one else.

I don't need recognition for giving of my time or resources. I am happy to do this and I am trying to teach my kids about doing these things without that need as well.

I try to live John Wesley's motto in all areas of my life.

What about you?????

Have a wonderful day.

edited because I am really curious -- anybody already picked favorites from american idol? Before last night - I have never voted until that show and I voted for Chikezie. We have 4 favorites at our house - our vote from last night, Amanda, carly, and sweet little David.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The poinsettia scarf

Ok - Joanna over at Stardust Shoes is the guilty party here. She posted about these flowers and then posted a link out to the pattern. Hers are made from all different color combinations and they are quite lovely - I'll be making more of these in various colors myself.

The pattern is a Lion Brand freebie. I had a skein of homespun in red and a tiny bit of green. I decided to follow the pattern exactly and made a scarf. The flowers kind of reminded me of poinsettia blooms - hence the name.

I was able to upgrade my camera yesterday for less money than a direct replacement. This new one has more functions that I will have to learn, but the basics are exactly like the old one. (No learning curve)

I finished the fafsa form online last night - only to confirm that working people who try to have some sort of security are never eligible for financial help. So no grants for college. We will fill in the rather large blank with student loans.

One last thing - is any one out there familiar with successful treatments for cluster headaches?The man at my address is suffering with a cluster right now and is in full blown pity party mode. He takes imitrex - which is a wonder drug - and does help - but the headaches come back on an unpredictable schedule. It is really difficult for him to function when these are occurring - so any input would be greatly appreciated.

I sure hope each of you is having a wonderful day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I hate posting without a picture

But - I broke the da*$ camera. Yup - me - guilty. Now I have no display - and can't see the menu or anything else. How - not a clue. It worked - now it doesn't. Off to WalMart at lunch to buy a new one.

I will be buying another Fuji - I love mine - small - easy to use. Maybe the new one will actually take better action shots though.

MaggieGrace was incredibly productive this weekend. I finished three hats and a really fun scarf for a color swap I am playing in.

By the way - this is a rant - get ready. Yesterday, very early in the morning, Molly and I went through the drive through at McDonald's. We ordered breakfast - breakfast includes eggs - and they did not have eggs cooked. I repeat - they had no eggs cooked. Okay McDonald's, this is breakfast time - 6:54 am - eggs are on your dang menu. Did you happen to engage your brain this morning? Okay. Rant over - I feel better knowing that those people with no brain can still be gainfully employed.

About those hats. I have now completed and given away 44 of them. I have one more on the giveaway list. I will tell you - it feels good to know that I have been generous with my stuff. I really believe that generosity will be (or has already been ) repaid in full. Sort of an equalization in the universe.

We are in full blown college mode now. I will finish up the fafsa form tonight and submit it so tha they can tell me we don't qualify for any federal aid. The volleyball coach at the chosen college was at Saturday's tournament and Molly was not playing up to par at all. She has had stomch flu all week and was still droopy and dehydrated. Pray hard that the coach will give her another look. She really wants to play ball in college and this is her best option right now.

I hope this finds all of you having a fabulous Monday - after snow flurries on Saturday - the weather here has suddenly warmed and it is going to be a gorgeous day.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays ......

The southern US still remains in a drought. It is raining today and I refuse to complain. From my desk I can see - a cardinal playing on my windowsill pecking at his reflection, the bright green new growth on a leland cypress tree, and the varying shades of green that the bradford pear tree buds have as they begin the transformation from bud to full flower and grey, cloudy rainy conditions.

My lovely friend Jen posted sneak peeks of her raindrops months ago. I loved them then. Several days ago she posted this picture. Jen - I snagged this photo over at your place - I sure hope that is okay.

Is this a fabulous mobile or what. I love this so much. Makes raindrops look fun. Even the clouds are full of colorful inspiration. This piece is fantastic.

This week has been super crazy at work and I have not had very much time to look at the inspirations. Today has been more relaxed, because of the weather, and I took off over to etsy and just started drooling. Look what I found......

A raincloud pendant - I was immediately reminded of Jen's mobile and tickled by the idea of this pendant.
It's not Monday but it is a rainy day and I just thought I would share the message that even rain is beautiful sometimes.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Water -

My mom has said that I am part fish. I prefer mermaid as the description as that renders images of graceful, beautiful, mythical women creatures that entice men to spend their life searching for that beauty.

Back to reality. I love the water. Never been seasick a minute in my life. I love the ocean - a lake - river - mountain stream - creek - pond - swimming pool - bathtub - shower. My dream home has an expansive view of the water from many angles. I have already posted about skinny dippin' and showers. Add a hot tub to that list. A cold drink and warm water - cold outdoor temps - my idea of small slice of heaven. Toss in 80's love ballads - good to go.

This painting by Monet(?) intrigues me. How much fun would a studio boat be? I would love to rent a houseboat for me and my closest buds. Load up the art supplies - good food - great movies - bring your own favorite drinks and treats and have a water bound art retreat.

Take supplies to a cabin overlooking a stream - too fun.

Wiggle my toes in the salty sand and share a few umbrella garnished drinks - all over that too.

Where would you enjoy an art retreat? What would you bring to work on? Would there be cooking - music - drinks - friends along for the weekend? Classes or just uninterrupted time for a project you are working on? Why not make an art kit so you always have something to work on? What is in your kit?

Come on ya'll share some ideas to refresh everyone's creative coffers. Maybe issue a challenge or two here to spark up the interest.

Have a wonderful day - plan a studio boat retreat for yourself.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Writing on the wall .....

I am painting some recycled shelves for the studio. Last night I saw this and had to get the camera and record it. I love to go into a home that has names and dates on a growth chart somewhere in the house. If it is in a public spot that makes me even more happy. Ours is on the trim of the kitchen porch.

This says Jonathan C. in childish script. It was on the front edge of the shelf I was priming. My sister's oldest child. I almost did not paint it.

Do you have this kind of thing at your house? Do you have a "permanent" growth chart anywhere? Is it just for family or do you include others? (Ours has friends and pets as well)

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I am not dead -- just disabled

Really - seems a nasty flu bug got all of us AND my computer. I have had both the girls down with the flu and I have been working despite the fever and chills I have had. MY computer - I had all my registry contaminated and have spent the better part of 15 hours putting all that back to where it should be. But I am back --

The last two questions from readers on the earlier post----

MaryAnn asked what the meanest trick I ever played on the man at my address was.

My dear sweet cyber friend, how could you think I would play tricks besides the one I already confessed to you????? Enough of that - I am a bit of a prankster and there are two that are worth repeating.

#1) Early on in our marriage - I discovered that he was a close the door to brush his teeth person - still is to this day. One morning when he was in the shower, with the door locked, I used a card to open the door and silently slipped in. I reached in behind the curtain and pinched him. The startled reaction involved tearing the curtain down and multiple throwing and slinging of things. I truly almost scared him to death.

#2) My favorite - and this involved the girls too. I am not weird about pets at my house. We have had turtles, cats, dogs, birds, many things. Once the girls captured a teeny tiny frog. We fed it bits of meat and kept it for quite a while. It finally could jump out of the box we had it in and we put a screen over it. Then it could knock the screen off and get out, so we had a can of soup sitting on it to weigh down the screen. Every morning the girls fed the frog and checked its water. I was paranoid about it getting out and me not being able to find it. Well one morning I talked them into taking it out and letting it go. (the man was already gone to work) I carefully reassembled the box and screen and can. When I got to work, I called him and told him to make sure the girls fed the frog when they got home. (Having sworn them to secrecy of course). Then I just let it all play out. ( The girls quietly watched tv while he desperately - for over two hours - searched the house for an escapee frog that really didn't escape at all.) I slept on the sofa that night.

My neice - Laura - asked where an empty beer bottle would surprise me if I found it. EASY answer - the trash can. I probably would stroke if that happened.

Back tomorrow if the cyber gods allow it.

Have a great day.