Monday, June 30, 2008

glorious beauty

The Family Life Center at Jones Chapel is situated perfectly on a hill to provide some of the most breathtaking views of the sunset you will ever see. Quite often, we will gather everyone together to watch.

A soon to be married young couple sealed their engagement during a sunset there on a Wednesday night. Luke had carried that ring waiting for one of those nights because he knew that would be the perfect setting to ask Cortney to be his wife. (they met at the church)

Friday night was one of those nights, but not the sunset. There was a storm coming in and the clouds against the sun were gorgeous. I tried to capture the way the light outlined those clouds, but the photos really do not do this the right amount of justice.

The grandeur of God's creation is such a gift for us all. One of the things that changed when I was diagnosed, is that I now pay more attention to these small gifts. I see so many blogs out there (from all over the world) that celebrate these small details, so I know that many of you feel as I do. Even the smallest gesture - the tiniest detail - the celebration of a kindness - a single word of encouragement - is worth the effort it takes.

Celebrate something today - encourage someone today - you will feel better and so will someone else.

Now for a funny. I took the following photo on Friday afternoon on the four lane around Athens, GA. No matter what the scenario was, I am sure the words "OH SHIT" accompanied this occurance.

Please note - there is no lake (or any body of water) in the nearby area. When I drove by - there was no tow vehicle of any variety either.

Take a look ...........

It is a pontoon sitting on the grass on the side of the road. The trailer sits about 8 feet in front of the boat. I have no idea how this occurred. I just found it an oddity worth sharing. Why make things up when life presents so many rich opportunities for fun commentary? Like "maybe some drunk redneck saw the words exit ramp and thought he was already at the lake."

Okay ladies and gents - give me photo captions for this. On Tuesday at 5pm - eastern time - I will print them out and have local best friend choose the funniest one and send you a goodie from my out of control stash. Tell your friends to come and play too.

Have a wonderful day ------

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tiny doileys

Last night we served our concession stand duties. After that we then had three hours of ballgames to sit through - I got home at close to 11.

I bought that motif book a couple of months ago and I am enjoying it so much. I made lots of a simple little flower that, once I made two, I could complete without the instructions at all. Last night I made these tiny doileys. The pattern if from the same book.

The first one required the standard learning curve stuff - read, stitch, " well crap" utterances, frog, start over. The center hole is a tiny bit small for the intended use - (I'll show that later - this is a CIP project. ) The second one went much smoother. I finished the third one just in time to pack up and go home.

These are not even large enough to use as a coaster. But they sure are pretty and easy to make. If made in a larger yarn - they would stitch together nicely for a blanket or a scarf.

Here's a closeup - please don't mind the stain - all of them will be washed and lightly starched before I use them. Or I may soak them all in coffee or tea for the weathered, vintage look.

I am using crochet cotton to make these - for the project I have in mind they will all be the same. Another version would have them in brights or soft pastels.

No work has occured in the studio this week, but we will get back to it. I really wanted to have a few freinds over for my birthday and be ready to play in there, but it's not ready for that.

Tomorrow there will be more of these babies made while I sit at a ball tournament. Sunday is a Piedmont Volleyball Social. Another busy weekend.

Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend.

Also there has been an update over at CIP today ---

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sneak peek -- and thank you......

Not revealing who this is for. Definitely a reader. And this is definitely a project that requires full attention. Counted cross stitch on 28 count white linen over two threads. An adaptation of a needlepoint project and using things I already had. Unlike crochet - this one stays beside my chair and is better for those evenings when I can sit still. (that happens a lot - you know)

This has become a way of life - the using what I have thing. Is my stash any smaller - technically yes - but visibly - not in the least? As I move things into the studio and put them away - I really am enjoying rediscovery of some things I purchased. I do have some CIP work to accomplish and several other gifties to get together. But I am still ahead for Christmas.

The graduate picked out her bedding last night so now I can plan the remainder of this dorm room decor. We will be meeting with Emily and her family next week - maybe over home made ice cream - to decide who will bring what.

The softball princess had her first followup today - we still have the pins in her thumb and no cast, but she has been allowed to throw the ball some. Not catch the ball or swing a bat - and definitely no running, but it is enough to allow her to be a little involved and that makes her feel better. The pins come out on July 15th - then two more weeks in a removable cast.

I came home last night to find this package on the kitchen counter. Fun - and yes - I added it to the stash. I am quite sure this patterned tyvek will resurface in the future.
What was in it???

A pay it forward goodie from Suzanne. Look a the beauty in that box. A bracelet and earrings in green - my favorite color.

The clasp on the bracelet is fabulous. There are even tiny grapes on the toggle. The earrings are made from those same green crystals - beautiful - I am so pleased with this. Love- love- love. You can see more of Suzannes work at her etsy shop.

We have softball concession duty tonight. The heat and humidity are horrible and I'll be flippin burgers - fun fun fun. See ya'll tomorrow.

Have a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


If you read here regularly, you know that I am not the best speller, and I often use run on sentences. More often than not, I am posting between customers and co-workers - and vendors interrupting me. (MaryAnn - that would be an excuse - lol) If I process a professional paper, for any reason, I spell check, and grammer check and read and proof and get someone else to proof. I take those papers seriously.

Some of you may use a feed reader for blog reading, I am so sorry when my repeat corrections give you false post information because I went back and corrected something I discovered.

On Friday, Molly and I were at her orientation. They gave us tons of paperwork. As we waited in the pre-assembly area for everything to start, both of us were reading stuff. I was looking at the schedule of events and the really pretty, shiny (interpret that as expensive and professionally printed campus map) I discovered that there was no STEWART HALL on the map and that we had a meeting there on the schedule. Molly and I were discussing this and then I noticed that this map had a SETWART HALL referenced. Yup - it was spelled incorrectly. My question to Molly ---- "isn't this an institute of higer learning -look there's an error on the map?" and we laughed (giggled)

Fast forward to the minimum computer requirements section of the same meeting. We were handed out a huge and detailed packet about the IT department and rules about computers, and servers, and antivirus software, also about the school's official email information. This packet was processed in a word processing software - by the IT department - and Molly leans over to me and says "isn't this an institute of higher learning - you would think people in the IT department would know how to use the spell check function?" Are you all ready for this ------- they misspelled the name of the school. instead of PIEDMONT they listed it as PIEDMNOT. and we giggled again.

Then I went to the housing and safety meeting and they gave us these wonderful, colorful packets about dorms. The packet included the standard dorm room dimensions and I immediately had difficulty. I am in construction sales (pretty plumbing fixtures) and I can stand blueprint walls up in my head, but I could not make this happen. Look carefully at the dimensions in the picture below and tell me what you think. Notice the dimensions across the top and bottom of the page.

Finally late that afternoon we get to tour these dorm rooms and here is what the room actually looks like. See the dimensions were right, but the wall on the left was drawn coming into the room instead of going out of the room. Molly and I looked at each other and simultaneously said "institute of higher learning" followed by pee our pants type of giggles. Her new roomie thinks we are nuts.

Speaking of the new roomie. Her name is Emily and because she will be a part of the graduate's life in a big way, I am sure you guys will "meet" her soon. The volleyball coach does not want players to be roommates, but a volleyball player can room with an athlete of another sport. Emily will be playing softball. Her dad is one of my customers. She played tournament softball with the valedictorian - Molly's BFF Brittany. She was concerned about getting a roomie that was not compatible with the required discipline of athletes and demanding majors. Chris -and I were talking about it and then kind of arranged the roomie set up.

Dry sense of humour is one similarity the two share. They are calling this set up an "arranged marriage." Actually for two girls who did not know each other, they hit it off immediately. They are going to have a blast and both families are very comfortable with the arrangement.

Why post this? MaggieGrace is a family place and serves as a journal of our life. This is a funny story that I want a record of for all of us. I also thought all of you might find the amusement in this like we did.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Go DAWGS!!!!!!

Game one of the College World Series Finals ------ DAWGS beat the DOGS 7-6.

Requested shot of the softball princess and her teammates -- this was last Thursday night. She is at softball camp this week - watching. You have no idea how many people tried to get this photo. She just did not want to cooperate.

Here is a shot from this past Saturday between games. I was working on a scrap baby blanket and Renee wanted to learn. Her enthusiasm waned after about 40 chain stitches.

The finished scrap baby blanket. Made from those thick, chunky, bobbly yarns. I did have to buy some to make this one big enough to be useful. I will say - it is very soft and warm.
BTW - hop over to Carries' place - she has some wonderful news to share.
Then go look at Very Mary and David and tell her just how adorable they are. A message to Miss MaryAnn - you are allowed excuses if you would like. I think my message had a different intended audience.
Now for something new in Maggie Grace world.
Jason and Stephanie Danuser are (were) our pastor and his wife. The United Methodist Church moves pastors around routinely and they are leaving us. Stephanie gifted me with two huge boxes of yarn and stuff when her Grandmother passed away. In these boxes I found an unfinished doiley and her grandmother's hooks.
I wanted her to have them back - so I sorted through all the hooks and pulled out any duplicates (I gave those back too). I piled them on a tray - ya'll know how I work and then took a close look at the doiley. It was almost finished - two stitches - (her Grandmother was working on this and suffered a heart attack) - so I finished those last two stitches.
I found a shadowbox at Michaels and used a 50% off coupon to buy it very reasonably.
I fiddled around with the layout of the hooks and finally settled on a smallest to largest alternating arrangement. I measured and taped them together to keep them in order - then I sewed each hook to a piece of heavy felt that I had placed on some fabric in my oval quilt frame.
The doiley was pinned into place with some rust proof small pins that I beaded with seed pearls. I did this so that it can be removed for a "something old" in a future wedding if needed. What you cannot see is that I also placed a pin discreetly with a black bead marking the hook that I found with the doiley.

Here is a very poor picture of the opened shadow box (above) and one of the finished piece standing on my kitchen countertop.

It did turn out to be an amazing and touching memorial piece. I explained what I had done to complete the doiley and that everything can be disassembled if the need arises.

Jones Chapel will miss the Danuser Family - and we all pray them blessings in the future.

There has been much discussion in blogland about RAK - and while this was an act of kindness - it was not random. I am sharing it because the recipient was pleased with it - did not expect it - and gave me the permission to share it. The memories that go with all those things in that little box are important to her. I was concerned that she would find it to be "handmade" in that negative way, instead she was touch by the thought and the gesture. Reach out - if you feel led to create something specifically for someone - do it. Do not be afraid of the reaction - just put yourself out there. It will bless you in the making and them in the receiving. I dang well do not want to shortchange myself or anyone else of a blessing.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

In charge....

I had an entirely different post in mind for today, but this woman caught my attention last night on c-span. C-span is not on my normally watched list, I would usually cruise right past it while surfing through the GUIDE feature on our tv network, but last night I could not get that feature to work for some reason and I was flipping channels the old fashioned way.

This very attractive woman was being interview by Brian Lamp on the Q & A program. Dr Renu Khator - the new president and chancellor of the University of Houston.

She is a native of India and shared many of her native cultural traditions. You can read the transcript of the show here.

Dr. Khator is well spoken and direct. I was drawn into the interview, because her massages ring true and I will not be surprised to see the University of Houston really leap forward under her direction. There was much information and inspiration in the interview for all of us. I took many ideas from the interview that I can apply directly to my career growth. Go and read it - take a look at the 100 day survey at the University site.

Every young woman needs role models and Dr. Khator is a great one. I'll be watching and learning from her.

I wrote this quote down from last night's interview. Tell me if you agree or disagree with the thinking behind this ....

RENU KHATOR: I’m very direct.
BRIAN LAMB: How do we know that? At what point, do we know you’re being direct?
RENU KHATOR: Well, I – for instance, somebody will come, and I said, well, we really need to increase retention rates. Why is it that 25 percent of the students they come in and they drop out in the first year? I said, it’s not acceptable. And then people will come to me with different excuses or this is how it has been historically and we can’t change too much. I said I didn’t ask you whether or not we can change it. I asked you how we can change. So please go back and get me my answer and bring me more than one so that it know then what’s responsible.
I push myself hard, and I just like to push my team very hard. And, I think, when you have the vision and it’s a collective vision I think, everybody is willing to walk together.

I am tired of excuses as well. Identify the challenge and find a way to change it for the better. Go for it. It may be a personal or professional excuse - your or someone else's - Don't ask if it can change - ask how it will change and then do it.

(Stepping down from soapbox now.)

Have a wonderful day....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Studio progress - and the reveal

I am so happy Miami lost the college world series game last night. Georgia plays tomorrow night and as of right now remains undefeated. Go Dawgs - and only a southerner knows that is absolutely the correct spelling and must be accompanied by a bark.

What was in that tin? The bath powder tin. MORE buttons. Just look. I have a lot of buttons.

These are horridly dirty. But I'll enjoy every moment of fondling these as I scrub them up with a soft tootbrush and soapy water.
I already picked favorites - yellow and gold coat buttons - (is there an easy way to verify that the tube shaped ones are really bakelite?) The milk dud shaped brown ones are fun and I adore the square green ones - they remind me of monopoly houses for some reason.
A detail shot of the yellow ones.

Look again at these graphics. I am so drawn to the look of these cards.
Now for the fun stuff I did last night.
Disregard the mess in the lower right corner - focus on the cabinet -
Before I proceeded with my work last night.

And after.....
A 10.00 investment in some clearance peel and stick tiles. Easy clean up - damp cloth. Almost effortless installation - meets my needs for a drying/stamping/pile crap up surface. I could have done a laminate top - but this will work and it fit the budget perfectly. I am thinking a piece of RED trim across the front then I can call this part done too. It is not an exact match - but hello - it works.

No work there tonight - softball calls - she can't play but she wants to be there.
Hope this finds you having a wonderful day....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Details, dumpster diving, and the call that stops your heartbeat

We will start with the phone call. The graduate came by my work yesterday when she got off at her work. We were not busy at the time and she stayed a little while with me. When she left - she was going by the bank and then home.

About 15 minutes after she left - my cell rings - it's her number - the call goes like this -

"mom - I'm fine - but this guy hit me at the light." Well it was minor very minor - everyone is fine - little damage to her vehicle. Dad does not agree with my handling of it, but tough - I made a decision and having lost too freakin' much in my life - I was simply counting blessings that she was just fine. It has been a few tough days at the Atkinson household. Notice - mom gets the call. Wonder why that is?

Now for dumpster diving. They are gutting the old middle school gym and on Monday night while I hung out waiting for Abby's softball team to finish practice - I noticed that these locker baskets were in the junk pile out back - along with some other stuff. I dug through and got these 5 baskets out of the pile. Right now they are waiting for a location either in the studio or in the house. I have no idea where they might land.

Details - Remember this post - and this one. Well last night I knocked the curtain off the list using that fabric. There was cussing involoved. I washed this lovely fabric and these 6 foot panels emerged from the dryer in a basketball sized bundle. I'm talking steam, sprinkle, AND spray starch. But look - it is gorgeous covering the closet opening in the studio. I love the ruffled look against those whitewashed rustic walls. I also finished all of the wall paint over the cabinet and hopefully will finish the countertop tonight. I painted this wall a beautiful battleship grey/blue. I am loving the beachy colors as I add them in here.

There was an anonymous comment on the post yesterday about the thing with Liberty on it. Well here is the answer - it is a needle threader. A metal needle threader.

With the instructions printed on the back -- this is cool and will be displayed on my doiley stretcher.
I washed up some of the buttons out of the box I posted yesterday - here is a better picture of some of my favorites. All mother of pearl. I adore the heart shaped one and the shamrock one.
This tin was also in the goodies my MIL sent home with us on Sunday.
I know what's in it - yes you will be jealous again - but you are going to have to wait until tomorrow.
Have a wonderful evening -

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sorry - I went MIA

Warning - really heavy on the photos here.

The softball princess went straight from the orthopedic office yesterday to the surgery center. Two pins, a metal plate, all from the exterior (no incisions) are holding the bone in place. We go back on Thursday the 26th for followup and maybe pin removal - then a real cast. estimated recovery time ---- 4 to 6 weeks. To answer Carrie's question - just abby's season is over. Both the travel and high school summer season remains in full swing. She was feeling good enough last night to go and sit through the practice. (The softball coach let the football coach know that --- girls are much tougher than boys) Today her she says her hand aches and she is taking her pain meds.

You know that I have to include beach pictures.

Misty (l) and Molly (r).

Left to right --- Molly - Brianna - Misty - Britt K - Britt E. Notice where they chose to hang out (lol) IS THAT A GOOD IDEA OF A PLACE TO PICK UP BOYS?????
Misty - Molly - Britt - this was a fabulous trip for them - they even brought money back with them. In addition to the money they returned with - and sibling gifts - they all brought home ....

these - thank goodness they are only henna - the white toenails and the heart belong to Molly.

While she was gone, I started a baby blanket and because I had lots of time in the ER and then watching over Abby for the weekend. Then two college world series games to watch (Go Georgia Bulldogs) and a Dr's appointment and surgery - I finished it. A granny square adaptation of my own design - using yarn I had - for a baby boy coming to the church family.

The colors are so very soft, but still boyish - and the multi-hued yarn was a dream to work with.
Sorry - this one is from late last night - but it shows the center medallion - a granny with added on triangles. What do you guys think about it?
While we were visiting with Grandmother and Granddady on Sunday, we started cleaning out the old house. (the cabinet in MaggieGraceWorld came out of this house). I got lots to share from there as i put the stuff into use.
Anyway - Ann says to me - I have some stuff for you.
Does a box that has this kind of label make your heart beat faster????
It does mine - look what was in there......

Buttons still on their cards....
I love these graphics...... I may scan this one and use it for some other things. I pulled all those out and look what was at the bottom....
Loose mother of pearl and other mixed ones... Look at the shamrock ones.

I picked out my favorites - black jet buttons with metallic edges. I promise I'll get a better picture of these -

Now people - I will share the man at my address, but his mother I am keeping all for myself.

You can be envious - but you have to admit - this woman has me all figured out.

Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Granddaddy's Tomatoes

Granddaddy (the man at my address dad) is an avid gardner. All summer in the Georgia heat, he works in the yard and gardens. We all benefit from the wonderful results. (doesn't look like he is close to 80 either, does he??

Happy Father's Day to you Granddaddy and to the man too.

The graduate and her friends are back from the beach. More on that trip tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

the softball summer season is over......

This just in - the softball princess was injured in today's last game.

The good news - the girl trying to steal third against miss abby was out - and we won the game.

The bad news - her glove hand is broken - broken seriously enough to see an orthopedic hand surgeon for a pin to repair this break.

She is not in terrible pain - they splinted her at the ER and we see the surgeon on Monday morning. They also sent really good pain meds with us. She is incredibly subdued about the season - remember - she eats, sleeps, and breathes softball.

Pray for a speedy recovery and please send well wishes her way via the comments. I'll pass them on.

Lovely way to begin my weekend.

the game

the game
Originally uploaded by maggiegracecreates

I saw this on one of my daily blog reads and wanted to play -- do you see a pattern in the pictures????

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

b. Using only the first page, pick an image.

c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Teresa

2. What is your favorite food? Chicken

3. What high school did you go to? Franklin County High School

4. What is your favorite color? Green

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Nicholas Cage

6. Favorite drink? Margarita

7. Dream vacation? Alaska Cruise

8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate Cake

9. What you want to be when you grow up? Generous

10. What do you love most in life? My family

11. One Word to describe you. Fiesty

12. Your flickr name. maggiegracecreates

now wasn't that fun -- i was out of pictures taken ahead on the camera so this fills it in nicely.

have a wonderful weekend - the softball princess' team won all three games yesterday - as of right now they are winning the first of three today - she and dad will be home tonight - the graduate comes home from the beach tomorrow. Please help me pray them all home. I am ready to see them.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I am a list maker - at work - at home - at church. I leave lists and to do notes on the bathroom mirror. I have lists of customer orders at work. I installed roughly 20 foot of marker board as a back splash in MaggieGrace World to keep lists of projects I want to accomplish. Notes on the kitchen counter - those too. There is a list of items Miss Molly will need for her dorm room. All manners of lists.

The list pictured here happens to be my favorite list right now. The details for finishing up some things in the studio. Written on a piece of the marker board. I'll be keeping this board to mke lists as I am working on projects. A portable way to keep myself straight.

I have seen marker boards made from ceramic tiles and if I run across some light colored glazed tiles will probably put some of those together as well.

What you do not see on this list is what I accomplished in the studio this morning. I set up a little bubble gum for the resident mouse to chew on. Last night when I walked in there - the little beady eyed creature was in the middle of the floor - greeting me like the old man at the WalMart entrance. He scurried around and managed to make his way under my cabinet. I have no idea how it got in. I set the trap and baited it with bubble gum. (a trick we have learned in the warehouse at work) Hopefully I'll nail him by the weekend.

Abby's ballgame was cancelled because of lightning last night. They are on the way now to Augusta Georgia for 3 games today and 3 games tomorrow.

I'll be crocheting tonight.

Have a wonderful day -

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bits and bobs

Don't forget the art play along from yesterday's post. I made my sketches last night and I'll get started in the next couple of days.

There were some new commentors on yesterday's post - thank you both for coming by.

Roxie asked what I plan to do with the keys. The truth is --- I have no idea. Right now they live in a printers tray on my living room wall. And in an adjacent compartment these wonderful Japanese threads live. I love the textures of the windings and the muted colors of these. I picked them up in an antiques store years ago.

This next item lives in the same print tray. I kept this out of some of either Mama Norvan's or Grandma Simpson's stuff. The needles are still in it. It's only about an inch wide and maybe an inch and a half tall. Don't you love the graphics???

Today is a hammered day at work - then I have church - AND then Abby has two ballgames - I'll only get to the last one.

Have a wonderful day - I'm tired already.