Friday, August 29, 2008

hinting at fall

eta - I received a note about the polyvore collages that the links in mine are not working properly to give credit to the appropriate people ( i think i need to go back to school on this one) I respect the all of the inspiring people out there so much that i will be deleting all of the collages until i can figure out how to fix the problem - I apologize to anyone who may have been offended. And I want to thank Jude at spirit cloth for letting me know there was a problem in such a kind and gracious manner. Please go see her beautiful work.

I know there are a few wedding photos here. No plans at my house, but I do read a few wedding related blogs and those images are from there.

I named this set orange and brown, because I seem to be headed that direction right now. The light is changing here in the south and in the evenings there is just a hint of fall in the air. I think of orange and brown as fall. The leaves take on those rich fall hues. The flames in the fireplace signal a warm cozy evening. I reach for a glass of red wine instead of a citrusy margarita. Earthy, rustic, and in the south the perfect weather for outdoors. Lower humidity - your makeup does not melt right off your face when you walk out the door.

Fall is my favorite season here.

A long weekend coming. I'll be putting things away in the studio. I still have a few things to move out there, but right now I have to clean and sort and organize. I also have a sketch to complete for my submission to the Hauntings Exhibitions at the local art gallery as well as an artist statement about my work.

College Freshman is off to a tournament this weekend in Memphis, TN. The first time she has been to a competition without me. They leave today and will be back late Sunday night. Monday is a holiday for her and we will probably head her way then. She called earlier and is having one of those reality moments. She parked illegally in the visitor parking this morning after practice - left her lights on - and now has a dead battery. They are leaving and she is freaked about the whole scenario. Mom would love to go to her rescue, but I simply coached her through the steps to resolve the issue and maybe she will call back later with the news it is resolved.

I am looking forward to a weekend of "piddling". Yes it will be work, but I so need to get my house and studio in order and I think then I can feel a little less stress. Right now the stress is causing me to have some physical issues - - my asthma is flaring up - heart racing - I am tired but not sleeping all that well - tension headaches. Nothing major and all directly related to stress. What I really need, and cannot afford either in time or money, is a trip to the beach. oh well.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vintage Images

Good morning, friends. How is it that I can completely lose myself for two hours making tags?

That is exactly what I did last night. As a part of the tags that Regina wanted, she asked for some vintage images. So last night, I dug out some vintage magazines from the 60's and clipped images as they struck my fancy. I have not got tv in the studio and I wanted to at least hear some of the convention stuff, so I hauled the makings for these back into the kitchen and worked on these.

I punched the mailing tag shapes with my Sizzix Die Cutter. The larger ones are cut the old fashioned way, with scissors after tracing the shape onto the images. Glue stick. Glue Gun. Ink pads. Stuff from various family sewing boxes and here we go.

These little colored images were from an ad about a musical. This one turned out to be my favorite of these. I have no idea where the button came from, it is one of those covered buttons that my grandmother used to use on all of her dresses so it more than likely was hers. The "lily" name label was from some vintage floss. (So sad - I even save those tiny labels) I really like the hint of red fishnet stockings in the illustration. I distressed the edges of these by dragging the tags across stamp pads.

FYI - these tags were cut from the heavy brown cardstock that comes in a pack of scrapbook paper. (Yes - I save that too)

Another fun image - and I had those hooks and snaps that finished this to perfection.

Cute little high school girl. Can't you just imagine the pretty blouse and matching bow in her hair.

I have no idea what these ties are made of, I know it is vintage, cotton, and it was in my nanny's stuff. I looks like those aggravating hanger loops that most dresses have on them. (you know the ones you cut off immediately to keep them from hanging out the neckline. yes - I save those too.)

I hope this find all of you having a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A blatantly stolen idea

Over the last year, I have been reading the Pink Roses blog. I started reading when I happened across it and realized that Suzanne is from my neck of the woods. I kept reading because she is so creative and wellspoken and she's a mom.

Suzanne now has two kids in college. An accomplishment I cannot imagine. But the idea that I stole from her was one she was doing for her daughter when she went off to college. Every week there was an encouraging card sent to her daughter. A handmade card. Her daughter displayed them all in her room and this was special for the two of them. I decided when I read it that it was something I wanted to do for my girls.

Sorry about the picture, I snapped this just before I dropped it in the mail - so I can't retake it.

These are flat cards - not quite postcard sized. I just threw together bits and pieces on the front - and a personal message on the back.

The one I sent last week was entirely different, but I put it into a handmade envelope that my friend Ann-Margret made.

This is a fun way to send her just a few lines of love from home.

We have an unexpected night off here - softball cancelled because of RAIN - desperately needed rain - so no complaints. I'll be cleaning - you know you are too busy when you look forward to a night just to clean.

You all know how I feel about sports and the good things that kids get from participating. God knows we are involved with our monsters and we support so many other sports in the area. We are in a small rural area of north Georgia, yet our softball field complex was ranked nationally. Quite an honor for small town America. How did this happen? With a ton of community support and the parents hard work. We cut grass, paint dugouts, hang netting, and anything else that needs to be done. We rely on donations for supplies, transporting the girls - feeding them - equipment. On and on - and all of these donations are so appreciated.

Having said all of that, I believe every sports program is worthy of that kind of support. One of my Very First blogging buddies was MaryAnn over at A Very Mary Design. She is the Very Mom of a Very Special young lady, who is a competitive swimmer. Again being from a small town, they need a little extra support for their team and facilities. The Very young woman is asking for help with some of the fund raising. If you can spare some loose change, or a few dollars, please consider sending it her way. I got my envelope addressed to go.

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

Friday, August 22, 2008

Music Madness

Good morning everyone. Jenn - over at juggling Life - posted yesterday about "pop culture" being used as a teaching tool for her kids. The song she used to illustrate the message was Paradise by the Dashboard Light (meatloaf). Go read the post to see her message.

My message today has nothing to do with using pop culture to teach your children. It does have a lot to do with children and the way I interact with mine.

I am a realist. There is very little that I censor from my girls. College Freshman has tried to explain how our family works to her new friends, but in her words "you just have to be there" to understand.

From the time they were small we sang in the car. As a result - we listen to country, rap, boy bands, cute pop stars, crooners, blues, jazz, classic rock, etc. I love music in all forms and as a result - they both do too.

An illustration here - I own this 2 cd set. Hot Summer Night, Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, and Paradise by the Dashboard Lights are all favorites in this crew. We know when they are coming on AND we choose parts. Yes - as a singing family there is harmony involved. What did my girls learn from all this - well yes the messages in the songs were probably not appropriate for them, but they learned tolerance, circumstances and consequences, they accept that my favorite music may not be theirs (acceptance), sharing, listening, working together make a more beautiful message and that speaking up for your part first is the best way to assure you get it (decision making).

Bonnie Raitt - one of my favorites ( and this is a great cd) - the girls tolerate this one. "Dimming of the Day" is the favorite song of choice today (subject to change)

The girls have friends who are often surprised by our rules at the house. I am not picky about the clutter. I am very picky about respect. Once Molly was able to drive, there was no set curfew hour. (The state has one for new drivers). The only rules were - tell me what time to expect you home (and be there then), what you are headed to do and who you will be with, and notify me if your plans change. My expectations have always been clear and if I hand down a punishment, it is clear and carved in stone.

I am the mother of a young woman who recently became a legal adult. Through the teenage years and driving and dating - I looked for her once and then had one other issue with the change of plans thing. Both times the punishments were swiftly delivered and appropriate for my child and the situation. I do not back down when I hand out punishment.

The message here is show me respect and maturity and I will return that favor to you. The more responsible they were the more freedom they received.

Susan Tedeschi - this cd is the one playing in my player right now. Having heard and enjoyed several artist version of Angel From Montgomery, hers is my all time favorite.

A former sister in law hooked me up on this one many years ago. Her Clothing - both of my girls are fairly modest in their clothing choices. Molly has a dormmate who who is majoring in boys. Her stepmom has set a pattern of "racy" attire and that environment has resulted in the same kind of attire being worn by said recent adult. We openly discuss attire of stars - schoolmates - adults. I knew my girls had absorbed what I consider appropriate when we were watching The Hills one night and Abby remarked that the shirt on one of those girls was way too tight. I asked her to explain and she pointed out that the buttons were strained and that it just looked too small. All handled in a non sexual way - she just though it looked bad. Again - continuous - open - conversation since they were very small.

Eagles - we fight over this one. Now that they have mp3 players and have this on them - I got it back (oh yeah)

We never had huge arguements about church. We all went as a family. The girls prominant friends all go to church with their families as well. Without preaching, we lived this lifestyle of caring and compassion and forgiveness. I never pressured them about dressing for church, if they wore shorts and a tshirt and went happily, I was okay with it. Each of them developed their own faith statement using all the input around them. Molly is now seeing the benefit of having that solid foundation under her.

Now that she is out and on her own, will she remain active in a church? I don't know. I hope so. When she comes home, we will go as a family just like we always have. If she gets away from church, will I be offended? Nope. I will continue to love and chersish and support her no matter what. I will pray that she remains active and/or find her way back.

This young man can play anything with strings. First heard him on the Saturday night before the 9-11 terror attacks. We flew to Tampa/St Pete to hear Pat Travers and Rick Derringer perform. This kid (he was just barely old enough to drink) opened for them and in my eyes and ears stole the show. Hot Tamales and Riverview Drive are my recommended choises here.

Talk about sex. Open and honest again. In an environment that is not embarrassing for anyone, again because it was always accepted. I have my Dad to thank for my approach to this subject, he always answered my questions directly and honestly and openly. You want to see a daddy blush, have one of your girls use the slang term for a sex toy shaped like the male anatomy in his presence. One of the local shopping establishments here has a private room for adults only and the Softball Princess announced that's where they sell d*&^$#^. Dad was mortified and appalled that his little girl even knew the word.

The last group here has a direct connection to us. This is Reservoir Dogs and (l-r) Cain Harper (drums), John Atkinson (lead vocals and known to us as Uncle John), Tony Stewart (bass) and Rich Smith (lead guitar) are all friends of ours. I have performed many a night of drunk girl backup singing with John. He is the Man at my Address's Baby Bro. I even spent this past Saturday night doing that very thing.

What have my girls learned here? About life and death - truth and consequences. John lost his 3 year old son many years ago in a drunk driving car accident. His ex wife was drunk and at fault in the accident and we all lost a beautiful little boy. We all have had to forgive over and over in this situation. We never hid any of it from our girls.

We frequently drink while we are spending a night partying with the band, and if one of us drinks the other choose to be responsible and drive. My girls have seen the responsible pattern of drinking over and over. There is alcohol in my house, again we openly discuss and demonstrate the responsibility and my girls need no illustration of the consequences of this bad decision. Both of my girls KNOW that they get that free phone call home if they need a ride. NO questions, no comments. College Freshman is now old enough to party, but not drink, and she will be going with us some and on her own now. I only hope that the pattern is strong enough to protect her from a bad decision.

Mistakes - made them. Not a single one out of selfishness or malice. Should I have been as open as I was? We made the best decision we could in every situation. We expose the girls to reality. Financial woes, they always knew when things were tight. Sometimes we told them no, just because we needed to force a night of rest on them. Each of them tried to play mom and dad against each other. If we discovered the ploy, it was immediately squashed and it really never was a big deal.

We welcome their friends into our life. I never mind having them at my house, because then I know what they are doing. We are involved in their activities. Would it have been easier to keep them home and not let them participate - yeah - but look what we all would have missed.

The rewards of my parenting style. Girls that I genuinely enjoy being around. Girls that are good students and who are welcome in other people's homes. I do have hopes and dreams for them, but if their dreams and choices do not agree with mine, I'll love them always.

I hope this finds all of you having a great Monday. Go hug your children - celebrate them and their individual personalities.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


eta - I received a note about the polyvore collages that the links in mine are not working properly to give credit to the appropriate people ( i think i need to go back to school on this one) I respect the all of the inspiring people out there so much that i will be deleting all of the collages until i can figure out how to fix the problem - I apologize to anyone who may have been offended. And I want to thank Jude at spirit cloth for letting me know there was a problem in such a kind and gracious manner. Please go see her beautiful work.

Okay - so the college freshman called last night. Seems there was a freak accident involving a shorted hairdryer, an electrical outlet, and a damp suitemate last night. Molly found her lying in the floor - unconcious - and burned on the side of her face. She is going to be okay, but it sure scared everyone.

I am having a blast assembling these image collages. I have now discovered that you can click on the collage and if you have imported the images the software gives a link back to the picture. Way cool.

I particularly love these images. The fabric square at the top right is my favorite, I'll be making an adaptation of these for a bridal shower centerpiece in the near future. These have an opening in the center and the creator refers to them as vases. I'll be making them with skirts to hold single flower stems in can's or jars. I'm thinking in various shades of fall and yes - I have PLENTY of fabrics to choose from.

I am still carrying that bag of crochet tag creations around. Great to work on in the heat. I am also cross stitching on the top secret project at night in my recliner and still moving and sorting and organizing in the studio. Nothing really photo worthy.

The title of this post reflects me organizing all of my inspirational photos in that computer folder into the wonderful pattern collages. I love the grouping of the items, making a family or themed presentation. You can play for free too --

Now I have to say - my favorite software (aka tools) online are as follows

you guys have any more links (time wasting websites) to share.

Have a wonderful day all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rustic elegance

eta - I received a note about the polyvore collages that the links in mine are not working properly to give credit to the appropriate people ( i think i need to go back to school on this one) I respect the all of the inspiring people out there so much that i will be deleting all of the collages until i can figure out how to fix the problem - I apologize to anyone who may have been offended. And I want to thank Jude at spirit cloth for letting me know there was a problem in such a kind and gracious manner. Please go see her beautiful work.

I am learning how to make these image mixes. None of these photos are mine and unfortunately I owe a ton of people an apology for not having credits - I do know that the lower right hand image is from Dawn athe The Feathered Nest blog on my sidebar. If one of these images is yours - I will be happy to give credit.

I will be using this free software to make image collages for customers. I can't wait to email a sample to the other girls in showrooms throughout the company.

I called this one "rustic elegance" and this is me. The furnishing are faded - in naturals and neutrals - loving the his and hers bathtubs. and the mixed fabrics.

By all means --- go play. It is easy once you figure it out. I'll be making more of these for mood and inspiration collages.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I feel like me again. College freshman is settled in. I miss her, but I have finally figured out what to do with myself. I did not wander around last night looking at all those blank spaces. What I did do was get the February (yes that's right) CIP packages ready to mail.

I have almost finished the tag package - headed to Sweden. The craft cabinet is almost empty and will be moving to my bedroom soon. Feels great to check some creative things off the list after an entire summer of college prep.

Please go read MaryAnn's post for today -

wow - what a perspective. I am really thinking about that one.

This next link comes with a warning. The site is completely pg-13. There are some censored postings, but the side trip is worth it. WARNING - DO NOT CLICK THE LINK WITH ANY FOOD OR DRINK IN YOUR MOUTH. BY THE 3RD ARCHIVED POST YOU WILL SPIT ALL OVER THE SCREEN AND WET YOURSELF LAUGHING. This is possibly the most hilarious site I have ever visited.

Now that you are all curious - click over to CAKE WRECKS. Please come back here and tell me if you reacted like I did - the giggle fit brought the boss over to see what was so funny - (I was reading the "olympic rings" post. )

People just do not get it. One of the tags I am making. The softball moms do not understand that I create to fill a void in me. Not to impress anyone. I find great pleasure in the time I spend working on things. I get a huge kick of repurposing and recycling thrifted or even "freebie" stuff. I worked on these all weekend at the tournament. The tags for Gina. More than one person looked at me with "that look", like why are you taking the time for that. You all know what I'm talking about.

I love coming here. Visiting with all of you. With all of you who "get it". With all of you who inspire me. Thank you all for the support you give and the inspiration I find at your places.

A message for ROXIE - the pill bottles have been collected over a long time. friends have saved them for me. We save them. Even my mom saves the dog med bottles (the blue and purple one) from Flopsy's heartworm meds.

Have a wonderful day -----

Monday, August 18, 2008

This is a serious issue people ...

I found out this weekend that a friends teenager is "cutting herself". Breakup with the first boyfriend triggered it. People you cannot love a child out of this. This issue needs immediate and professional intervention. What causes personally destructive behaviors? Myriad reasons. Teens are expecially at risk for lots of these behaviors. Be vigilant - hell - be nosy - ask questions - who? what? where? when? know your child's friends - know your child's normal behaviors - be involved. When you signed up as Mommy, you signed up for the hard stuff too. You signed up to be the parent -NOT THE FRIEND. Keep that perspective please - it is important. There are moments when the last thing you want to hear is the words "I hate you" because you are trying to lead them in the right direction. They really don't hate you and they know you love them.

Stepping off the soapbox now.

The college freshman came home this weekend - complete with laundry. How cliche is that? So I took her to the laundromat in town (we are still struggling with our well at home) and made her wash them. That backfired as far as she is concerned. I fully enjoyed having her home and in all honesty - her leaving yesterday was harder than last week, so I retreated to my "space".

I am down to sorting all that little stuff that drives you crazy.

I need not purchase any white glue in the near future. I found a shoe box full in the bottom of the craft cabinet. Yes this is embarassing.

What to do about these hanging craft bags. Take 1/2 of a cheap dollar tree plate drying rack and screw it to the wall. I can flip through these quickly - fun stuff. I have some more of these bags too -

Buttons, beads, bottles. These are my drugs of choice. Stress relief - relaxation - sleep aid - revitalization aid - blood pressure reduction - these little bottles cover it all.

After the entire afternoon of sorting and putting away stuff, I fixed a little card for Molly and mailed it in an envelope that Ann-Margret made for me. Then I took a magazine page in the house and made one of my own - fun stuff - there will be lots more of these. Then I spent some time cross stitching on the top secret project while I watched Law and Order and Cold Case.

More sorting tonight - then some silver work.

Have a great day.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Glorious Rainbows

Yes - Darla - I said 50 tags to Sweden. After I posted that I would sell some of my tags, I received an email from Gina at SoulGlo with a request for several. She is struggling with inspiration and materials in her tiny town which seems to have so very few mixed media people around.

I emailed her back and we kind of defined some customized packages for her and the qty determined was that about 50 will fit into a padded mailer. So 5 little tag packs in one bigger envelope will be completed before the weekend is over and on there way to a tiny little place in Sweden. No huge story - but isn't this a wonderful medium for meeting friends all over the world.
By the way - please go by her place and give a little inspirational feedback.

Today is the college freshmans 18th birthday - it is also her maternal and paternal great grandmothers birthday too. Just a fun little family fact. I won't see her today - but since I am but an email/text message for her already - I have sent her a happy birthday text message. We are not skipping the celebration - she is headed home tomorrow evening.

The Softball Princess has been cleared to play and although rusty from lack of practice, she will be taking the field tonight.

It's a good day.

Now about the picture.

I ran across this fabric panel last night, it was the thing that sent me right on over the emotional edge. I had my good cry that I have been putting off all week and now that's over with and I feel so much better.

Molly took her feather mattress pad with her, so I was looking for a mattress pad to put back on her bed. As I dug through the cedar chest I ran across a stack of these neatly folded rainbow fabric panels.

They are soft (having been washed many times). Still have the slevedge on them. Are approximately 8 feet log each and are hemmed on each end. It's just fabric and I have tons of fabric, so why did they send me over the edge?

We lived in a temporary place when I was pregnant with Molly. No paint on the walls and her nursery was a dark wood paneling. So I shirred this fabric and hung it on the walls of the nursery. The entire room was covered with this fabric and the project almost resulted in her being born without a father. (warning all husbands and fathers to be - NEVER decorate with a very pregnant woman if you have any intention of having an opinion about the project - negative or disagreeing male opinions that are voiced can result in murder)

When we moved to where we are now, I took the walls down and these pieces became the makings of many a dining chair tent. They have been the tablecloths on camping trips and picnics. Lightweight sheets for summer time naps on grandmother's bed. Curtains in a bedroom. Teddy bear blankets. Seat covers under the infant and toddler carseats in the cars. Folded into padding for the bleachers at sporting events. Packed in a bag as a top sheet for church and ball camp. Beach blankets. Even covers for the sofa on a tummy ache night. So many uses. So many memories. A realization of all those tiny moments that make up family bonds.

That's why these triggered the flood of healing and joyful tears. After I wiped my tears on a corner, I folded them and put them back in the cedar chest. When Miss Molly chooses to make a grandma out of me - that baby will be given a quilt backed in these wonderful panels and they will become the beginning of their family stories, but having a history already.

Tell me about the things in your house that would open the tear floodgate.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Originally uploaded by maggiegracecreates

i'll edit in a little while

eta -- whew two days from you know where. I spent Tuesday afternoon preparing an hour long presentation for a meeting. One of the presenters had a family emergency and I was called on to produce. Then that meeting lasted all day on Thursday with a 2 and 1/2 hour drive home. Back to my desk today.

I am also catching some grief because of the meeting. There are going to be some changes in behaviors here and Some people are acting like children. I cannot make them understand that we have to respect the signature on the paycheck - even if we don't agree with all the rules.

Grown men acting like children is so freakin' stupid to me and I have wasted no time letting them know how I feel about that issue. Been a tough day with lots of ill temperaments going on.

MaggieGrace has not seen the light of day through all this, but I will this weekend. 3 hours of gate duty tonight. Three games tomorrow and ALL DAY ball tournament Saturday. I will finish a boatload of those crochet tags. (50 of them will head to Sweden next week)

Molly called this morning. I was more than ready to hear her voice on the phone. She is having a blast. I quote.

"trying new things, meeting new people, figuring out a schedule and I ran into a boy I went to elementary school with."

Two or three a day practices are going to leave very little time for getting in trouble. The calculus, chemistry, english, religion schedule is demanding too. She is planning on coming home Saturday. All her new buddies are leaving campus for the weekend. She has an early practice - then she will head home.

I hope this finds all of you having a wonderful week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My house regurgitated a child......

The dining room self cleaned itself on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Her bed is now unmade because she took the mattress pad she liked off of it. Her spot in the toothbrush holder is empty. We only forgot the toilet brush and bathroom rugs. The final run to WalMart cost me 39.90. I have successfully left my child at college.

We're off. Fill up the car -- with stuff and gas. Dad swung it through the car wash for her (only after asking me for quarters). Jeepie is happy she said - and she was so nervous and excited.

Typical dorm room - block walls - built in furniture - the moving in was easy - she is on the ground floor right off the lobby - less than 15 feet from the campus security office. The upperclassmen completed a final gracious act for the freshmen - they carried everything in for us.

Then we unpacked and put away. Two girls - their stuff - the rest of two families - a couple of grandparents - we stepped over and through and around. For the entire afternoon.

They should not need very much stuff (although Molly did forget the laptop charger)

I have no pictures of the explosion that was the unpacking.

A few more glimpses of the day --

In the chapel at the pledge and promise sevices. (Mom please - I am trying to tell you something - I think it was about a calculus book.) Look at the pipe organ in the upper corner - it is magnificent. The campus is small enough that you can hear the music majors practicing on it.

Taking MaryAnn's spraypaint challenge, I made these cute dorm room marker boards. (can't have my child take off without handmades. The color is off on the blue one, it is much more teal.

I spray painted two cheap picture frames. Used handmade paper (thank you -Beth) and the metal letters that were part of my birthday giftie from Vallen (thank you too). The other embellishments were things that I had. From the comments we heard, there will soon be others of these decorating the halls.

Abby was subdued, but somewhat happy. She is in charge of the paint in her new room and gets to pick dinner locations now. (more seafood - less Mexican) The two of them are incredibly close and this will be a tough few weeks for her.

The two monsters in the new room - notice the bear - thats Brady - Emily (new roommate) brought hers too and she also brough this tattered old quilt that she sleeps with. Bits of home in a new space.

One last glimpse of them- Molly has her back to us (center bottom) and Emily was about to wave to mom (red shirt to the right)

The sisters held each other tight - gotta say - this is now one of my favorite shots of the two of them.

It was a good day - she will be fine and so will we.

On the way home - Dad would start to ask about things she had - our new phrase became...."She may play hookie from class. She may stumble into the room drunk. But she will feed herself and bathe - at least we got that right. "

They have two days of team building and play - then a 5am practice on Wednesday - the only real worry she has is about time management with the demands of being and athlete.

Funny - the excitement she had about the entire scenario, made it okay for me to let go.

Oh and the worst part of the day - there had to be one, right. Dad was taking the stuff, that would not fit in to the room, back to the truck on the way to the chapel for the pledge and blessing and locked both sets of keys in the truck. That did almost cause me to nut up. Emily's dad managed to open it fairly easy. Thanks, Chris.

Ya'll have a great day.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A second Friday post =======

photo number one - the jonas brothers

all others from the official U2 website

I love the band U2 - have always loved the band U2. Can't explain it, Bono is sexy in a not really the type of guy I am normally attracted to way. Always has been and as far as i am concerned he always will be.

In the last few weeks the Jonas Brothers have attacked at my house in a big way - teenage girls and all.

I have been watching some of the Jonas Brothers stuff (I'm with my teens at my house) and I want to give you some pictures to compare. Anybody else see similarities here??????? Or am I just middled aged and nuts.
Comments people.....

Escape route

If I go missing, this is where you will find me. I will be in MaggieGrace world. More than likely, I'll be by myself after Sunday. The College Freshman joins me on occasion, but the rest of the crew at my address, very seldom.

I have the cabinet in the dining room almost empty - I have the corner of the bedroom almost empty. The dining room floor will automatically clean itself with the exit on Sunday. I have no idea what I am going to do with myself next week.

Good things are on the horizon for that though - distractions of a sort. Tuesday night I'll be out of town for work and in meetings all day Wednesday. Thursday - will find me working the back gate for the Lead-Off Classic softball tournament and Friday - College Freshman's 18th - find me taking Softball Princess to the doctor and then going to dinner with Molly. A busy week to take my mind off things.

Yesterday - huge stress filled - I took lunch time at 3pm - sold product to a friend (not really ever a great idea) equivalent of Nightmare on Elm Street. I escaped to the barn quite early in the evening - still cleaning and putting things away. I have to say it is fun to see all these storage thingies I have thrifted over the years -beginning to come together. The picture above is the end of a sewing machine drawer - I have others somewhere. This has notecards and envelopes in it. The knob is long gone - missing when I bought it - but I still love this piece.

More storage - metallic braids in a jar - a riot of colorful ribbon bits - more of those labelled cigar boxes. The paintbrushes are in a clear cookie container with string wrapped tins in it to keep them a little separated.

Way back last May, I repurposed this shot glass shelf. For the beginning - look here. I have had it loaded with some of my stamps all this time. It was leaned up against the island between the living and dining rooms. I have known exactly where it was going to live in the barn since we put the windows in. I hung this baby last night anad rearranged stamps, inks embossing powders and the like. This is really high, but I will be keeping a ladder in the barn and I chose carefully what to put on those higher shelves. Some of the smaller stamps are in the print tray to the right. I still have some painting to accomplish - then a ton of things to hang on the wall in several places.
I also sorted all my cross stitch fabric and kits into two different zipper storage bags (like those that blankets come in). I need a few more of these bags for fabric and such, but I'll just use what I have for now.
I REPEAT - I DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANY MORE STUFF FOREVER. You all have a job - reminding me of this fact.
Hope you guys all have a great weekend. Mine will be busy and emotional - I really can't believe the time to let go is really here. Wow - time flies.
Til Monday.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fun stuff

Both girls got Kodak cameras as part of their birthday - until I get mine replaced - I'll be using theirs. The above picture is now gone from the wall in the College Freshman's room. She spent last night packing favorites to hang up in her dorm - it is in all black and white. but I have looked at this and thought over and over what a cool art quilt it would make. maybe in raw edged applique. I am glad to have the photo - now if I get the creative muse nudge , I'll print this on a transparency and start that task.
A customer shared something with me yesterday. Unexpectedly. One of those sharings that causes you to cross the lines from a simple business relationship - to being friends. This guy - big, burly, macho wood worker - builder - and somewhat standoffish - came by the store to get a water heater. I put the job name on the ticket and it was a church in our area. He said they were building an addition and that he was doing the contracting as a donation. We started talking about faith and works and other things about being Christian in a professional environment. A natural, easy, conversation that would end with him sharing a photo of a cradle he has made and a letter to go with it. The letter, written by a young family member, was composed to express his feelings to the parents of the new baby. We both shed those trickle down tears as we talked about our children and how far we have come in raising them. We left it agreeing that unconditional love, time, and a faith basis are the most important things we can give our children. All of the rest of it will then follow as we go. When he realized that I was the mother of the Salutatorian, he expressed his opinion of a parenting job well done by myself and the man at my address.

God sent an affirmation to me - through an unlikely angel - that I have done the best I can and that it is time to lean on faith and let her go. Then I come home to find that this(above) is one of the art peices she has chosen to take with her. The lettering was done by the Softball Princess for the College Freshman.

Now for MaggieGrace goodies - all these edges - a big envelope of them - are the circles and ovals for making gift tags cut from a bunch of card scraps given to me by a church member. I agonized over the decision to go ahead and complete these. I tend to have an idea, collect the stuff, complete a few, then move on to the next one. This blog and the committments I have made to Using What I Have both have contributed to changes in that behavior.

I need things to photograph (you all know what I am talking about) and to send to people, so I am much more diligent in completing projects. So until the weather cools off enough to quilt and crochet blankets, this little book shaped box (below) will be my travel companion.

It is easy to carry. It was in the stuff that Beth gave me. It holds just a few of those thrifted spools of thread, my awl, a tiny crochet hook, and a few of the circles and ovals at a time. I keep this and a small accent pillow to use for a punching surface in the truck. So this is the portable project for now.

More of the completed tags. If you would like to have some of these tags or these, email me at I'm selling these 10 for $1.50 US. I may be able to make a themed package (depends on what I have) or just a random assortment for you. I can also do the crochet ones with a monogram stamped on them. Again all of this money goes into the fun money account for the college freshman. God knows after all of the expenses for the summer

I have not even attempted to set up my ETSY shop, so I'll be selling these just here and to local folks for now.

Hope you are all having a great day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A few quick pictures

I GOT A BOX ----- it was all wrapped up and proclaiming something called a fiesta. It was my birthday gift from the Queen herself. This box was battered and bruised - but the contents - not even a scratch - look a floppy brim crochet hat - a fabric flower pin and some way cool alphabet letters. Love it all - my dear friend.

A couple of pictures from the dining room floor - Beth - Molly grabbed those baskets for her room - hope thats okay.
More stuff - all school supplies.

And just so you guys don't forget - like you would - not even. Some peeks around the studio.
Jars of sorted stuff.
I am a paper whore. I only wish this was all of it. This is a serious problem for me. I'll be completing some journals inpired by the Secret Leaves ones next week.

More bottles. These stacking lab bottles are one of my favorite goodies ever from the man at my address. Buttons, beads, rocks are all stacked up and organized. This has been daunting to say the least. I am really embarrassed to say how (I really don't know the answer either) many times I have purchased duplicates of things because I just could not find what I was looking for at the house. I already love having all this space in the barn (it will not be enough) and I am being so careful with putting things away in some sort of organized fashion. Tonight will find the College Freshman beginning the clothes packing process. I'll be making two frames for them to use as dry erase boards outside the door. Hope to have more on that tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day all.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sunrise / sunset

Sunset over Denali, photo by Roy Simpson

The majesty of God's creation. Gorgeous.

What I want to say today will be better left unspoken. I am maturing - because now I recognize that keeping my mouth shut is the better option.

There is a plus to the day - a co-worker with one of the most disrespectful attitudes I have ever seen - is off today and tomorrow. No conflicts there.

I got some crochet time in during the softball meeting last night.

Emotionally - I am on a seesaw this week - I am excited for Molly. We have reached the point of release for her to take the next step. I am so proud of her. I have concerns and I know how lonely and quiet the house is going to be. I am pondering the last 18 years and wondering if the next 18 will flash by like these did. I spoke to my friend Melissa this morning. She released her oldest last year and is letting the 2nd one go this fall. She understands completely why I am quiet and introverted - as she says " the emotions are in full conflict and you feel funny talking about it because you know so many others are going through it and they all seem to be fine." Finding my way - through another challenge - but you know I would not miss this for the world.

She is a great kid. We have been blessed with very few challenges from her. She is smart and funny and ready. She is so excited and I am too.

Have a wonderful day all.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The five senses

The five senses
Originally uploaded by dailypoetics

follow the link to see more wonderful goodies. this is from Daily Poetics flickr set. I was amused and inspired by the entire set.

First lets take care of some fun stuff. My loverly Canadian Friend Ann-Margret is having a give away over at her place - go comment and sign up. The goodies - some gorgeous cards.
I also want to give a huge thank you to my friend Elizabeth. She is moving and clearing out some things at her house. I was gifted with 5 huge boxes of art goodies on Saturday. I took at least two boxes to the church resource room. The acrylic paints she gifted me with are packed in my studio and ready for my fall/early winter project - Christmas Program back drops. I have some things to go to a friend who works with disabled children. I already broke out some magazines for the kids at church yesterday. I also have to confess a bit of the clutter keeper that I am - I separated the vintage magazines to use for myself. (She has already cut these so that makes it easier for me to cut them too. ) I have so much respect for Beth in the decisions she has made in her life. She is incredibly smart and studies many things to broaden her learning. My biggest respect is her faith and Bible Study and willingness to follow God's direction in her life as well as sharing her faith with those she encounters. The good thing is she is not moving very far so we can continue to visit and share. I have opened my studio to her use and I really hope that she will take me up on that offer.

One more week - and the College Freshman will be off. I really have to remember to get a picture of what the dining room looks like. And some before and after pictures of the dorm room.

I worked in the barn LATE Saturday night. I have put up a significant amount of fabric. I have covered the closet with fabric. I sorted through the boxes that Beth sent home with me. I have a lot to accomplish still, but I am well on my way. As a friend and I discussed yesterday, keep plugging away at it in small increments and eventually it will be all moved and sorted. It is a dream already to be able to find stuff without too much effort. I confess too - I love working on and in that studio space - to be able to leave it and not have to clear everything away.

Hope this finds all of you having a wonderful day.

Friday, August 01, 2008

She is so stressed out.....

The computer and printer are purchased - most of the list is checked off. Just school supplies left and the books in the bookstore. The snacks for the dorm room will be the absolute last thing. I have put aside money for the inevitable Walmart run that will occur as we are moving her in.

I have to put in a plug for my LOCAL BestBuy store. A young man named Jeremy helped us with the computer (we went with the MacBook) and was just wonderful to work with. I have had bad experiences there in the past, but the deal was too good to pass up. This young man was thoughful and polite and incredible well trained for what he was doing.

Also want to send a huge thank you to my girl JENB, who sent not one but two awesome mixed cd's for the College Freshman. These will promptly be uploaded to the new IPOD touch she got in the Back to School deal on that new computer.

The MaggieGraceWorld studio becomes the focal point for the weekend. I worked out there last night until well past midnight, putting things away. More of that tonight. A bit of painting. Those kinds of things and maybe a little work in my bedroom.

FYI - Grandmother - the weekend also includes a trip your way. Sometime Sunday.

Have a great weekend all.